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Living Dangerously

Living Dangerously

On the Margins in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Edited by Barbara A. Hanawalt and Anna Grotans

The essays in Living Dangerously, written by some of the leading scholars in the fields of history and literature, examine the lives of those who lived on the margins of medieval and early modern European society. While some essays explore obvious marginalized classes, such as criminals, gypsies, and prostitutes, others challenge traditional understandings of the margin by showing that female mystics, speculators in the Dutch mercantile empire, and writers of satire, for example, could fall into the margins. These essays reveal the symbiotic relationship that exists between the marginalized and the social establishment: the dominant culture needs its margins.

This well-written and lively collection covers a wide geographical area, including England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, and the Netherlands, making it an ideal resource for a broad range of courses in European history and literature.

Contributors: Barbara A. Hanawalt, Richard Firth Green, Vickie Ziegler, Dyan Elliott, Anne J. Cruz, Ian Frederick Moulton, and Mary Lindemann.

“The essays in this volume take the reader on an intellectual voyage of adventure across space and time in pre-modern Europe, stopping off in Germany, the Low Countries, England, Spain, and France. They lucidly explore those messy, contradictory, and fascinating realms of life and thought (marriage, theology, commerce, gender, sexuality, law) where transgression and convention intersect. Thought-provoking. A must-read.” —Ann Marie Rasmussen, Duke University

“This collection breaks new ground in its attention to the marginalized and rascalous members of medieval and renaissance society. First, it rightly treats as permeable the artificial boundary between ‘medieval’ and ‘renaissance’ cultures, seeing them synoptically rather than independently. Second, it boldly incorporates as contiguous both European and New World cultures, seeing them as related rather than discontinuous. These interdisciplinary essays are first rate.” —Daniel T. Kline, University of Alaska, Anchorage

Living Dangerously: On the Margins in Medieval and Early Modern Europe is an engrossing, learned collection of articles by recognized historians and literary scholars. Drawing on legal, archival, and literary evidence, they introduce us to real characters—in both senses—who transgressed boundaries and norms. Whether the lines crossed are social, financial, sexual, or spiritual, we learn that those on the margins are central to our understanding of these eras.” —Marjorie Curry Woods, The University of Texas at Austin

ISBN: 978-0-268-03082-7
184 pages
Publication Year: 2007

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Barbara A. Hanawalt is King George III Professor of British History at Ohio State University.

Anna Grotans is associate professor of German at Ohio State University.

“This is an excellent collection of essays written and edited by a distinguished group of scholars. Specialists in medieval and Early Modern studies will find much to savour and enjoy here . . . The focus of the essays is not only the underclass identified by Bronislaw Geremek in The Margins of Society in Late Medieval Paris but also relatively privileged people who lived dangerously.” — Parergon

“This diversity and interdisciplinary approach is welcome and should be of interest to a wide range of medieval and early modern scholars interested in social history, comparative literature, and the topic of marginality . . . The editors and contributors are to be commended for producing a fascinating and accessible study that moves the topic of marginality beyond the margins of contemporary scholarship and into the center of research on identity, community, law, gender, and sexuality.” — Sixteenth Century Journal

“This volume contains six strong and diverse essays, each of which individually contributes to the substantial scholarly literature on medieval and early modern marginality.” — Modern Philology

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P01240

Engaging with Nature

Essays on the Natural World in Medieval and Early Modern Europe


Edited by Barbara A. Hanawalt and Lisa J. Kiser

P03346

Visions of Sainthood in Medieval Rome

The Lives of Margherita Colonna by Giovanni Colonna and Stefania


Translated by Larry F. Field
Edited and Introduced by Lezlie S. Knox and Sean L. Field

P03282

Suspicious Moderate

The Life and Writings of Francis à Sancta Clara (1598–1680)

Anne Ashley Davenport

P03150

Mysticism and Reform, 1400–1750


Edited by Sara S. Poor and Nigel Smith

Living Dangerously

On the Margins in Medieval and Early Modern Europe


Edited by Barbara A. Hanawalt and Anna Grotans

 Living Dangerously: On the Margins in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
Paper Edition

The essays in Living Dangerously, written by some of the leading scholars in the fields of history and literature, examine the lives of those who lived on the margins of medieval and early modern European society. While some essays explore obvious marginalized classes, such as criminals, gypsies, and prostitutes, others challenge traditional understandings of the margin by showing that female mystics, speculators in the Dutch mercantile empire, and writers of satire, for example, could fall into the margins. These essays reveal the symbiotic relationship that exists between the marginalized and the social establishment: the dominant culture needs its margins.

This well-written and lively collection covers a wide geographical area, including England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, and the Netherlands, making it an ideal resource for a broad range of courses in European history and literature.

Contributors: Barbara A. Hanawalt, Richard Firth Green, Vickie Ziegler, Dyan Elliott, Anne J. Cruz, Ian Frederick Moulton, and Mary Lindemann.

“The essays in this volume take the reader on an intellectual voyage of adventure across space and time in pre-modern Europe, stopping off in Germany, the Low Countries, England, Spain, and France. They lucidly explore those messy, contradictory, and fascinating realms of life and thought (marriage, theology, commerce, gender, sexuality, law) where transgression and convention intersect. Thought-provoking. A must-read.” —Ann Marie Rasmussen, Duke University

“This collection breaks new ground in its attention to the marginalized and rascalous members of medieval and renaissance society. First, it rightly treats as permeable the artificial boundary between ‘medieval’ and ‘renaissance’ cultures, seeing them synoptically rather than independently. Second, it boldly incorporates as contiguous both European and New World cultures, seeing them as related rather than discontinuous. These interdisciplinary essays are first rate.” —Daniel T. Kline, University of Alaska, Anchorage

Living Dangerously: On the Margins in Medieval and Early Modern Europe is an engrossing, learned collection of articles by recognized historians and literary scholars. Drawing on legal, archival, and literary evidence, they introduce us to real characters—in both senses—who transgressed boundaries and norms. Whether the lines crossed are social, financial, sexual, or spiritual, we learn that those on the margins are central to our understanding of these eras.” —Marjorie Curry Woods, The University of Texas at Austin

ISBN: 978-0-268-03082-7

184 pages

“This is an excellent collection of essays written and edited by a distinguished group of scholars. Specialists in medieval and Early Modern studies will find much to savour and enjoy here . . . The focus of the essays is not only the underclass identified by Bronislaw Geremek in The Margins of Society in Late Medieval Paris but also relatively privileged people who lived dangerously.” — Parergon

“This diversity and interdisciplinary approach is welcome and should be of interest to a wide range of medieval and early modern scholars interested in social history, comparative literature, and the topic of marginality . . . The editors and contributors are to be commended for producing a fascinating and accessible study that moves the topic of marginality beyond the margins of contemporary scholarship and into the center of research on identity, community, law, gender, and sexuality.” — Sixteenth Century Journal

“This volume contains six strong and diverse essays, each of which individually contributes to the substantial scholarly literature on medieval and early modern marginality.” — Modern Philology