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Gift-Giving and Materiality in Europe, 1300-1600

Gifts as Objects

Gift-Giving and Materiality in Europe, 1300-1600
Gift-Giving and Materiality in Europe, 1300-1600

Gift-Giving and Materiality in Europe, 1300-1600

Gifts as Objects

Paperback | English
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Description

This deeply learned and theoretically nuanced collection of essays explores the importance of materiality in the study of gift and counter-gift. From rings to chairs to banners, relics, elephant bones, and one’s self, the specificity of the object given was essential in creating the lasting relationships cemented in gift exchange, ensuring that the giver remained physically present with the receiver. And yet these objects had lives of their own, their significance changing over time in relationship to the communities that preserved them. The essays discuss not only the gifts themselves but objects such as poor boxes and images that were integral to gift-giving. Spanning the late Middle Ages to the early modern period, the volume also considers the changing meaning of gift giving brought about by the Reformation.

This deeply learned and theoretically nuanced collection of essays explores the importance of materiality in the study of gift and counter-gift. From rings to chairs to banners, relics, elephant bones, and one’s self, the specificity of the object given was essential in creating the lasting relationships cemented in gift exchange, ensuring that the giver remained physically present with the receiver. And yet these objects had lives of their own, their significance changing over time in relationship to the communities that preserved them. The essays discuss not only the gifts themselves but objects such as poor boxes and images that were integral to gift-giving. Spanning the late Middle Ages to the early modern period, the volume also considers the changing meaning of gift giving brought about by the Reformation.

Gift-exchange, long treated as the motor of social relations in archaic societies, is brought to fresh life in these innovative and reflective essays. They return us to the emotional content of the gift and bring out the special qualities of the material objects that made gifting so attractive. The collection sweeps right across Europe in the late medieval and early modern periods. Its breadth and originality make it both fascinating and compelling.

Lars Kjaer is Associate Professor in Medieval History at the New College of the Humanities, UK. He is the author of The Medieval Gift and the Classical Tradition (2019) and the co-editor of Denmark and Europe in the Middle Ages (2014). Gustavs Strenga is a Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Greifswald, Germany. He has previously worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Tallinn University, Estonia, and Researcher at the National Library of Latvia.

Specifications

  • Publisher
    Bloomsbury Academic
  • Pub date
    Apr 2024
  • Pages
    272
  • Theme
    European history
  • Dimensions
    234 x 156 mm
  • EAN
    9781350186101
  • Paperback
    Paperback
  • Language
    English

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