There is no agreed date on which the European Middle Ages began. As one who finds the concept of the Dark Ages rather unhelpful, I would be inclined to start the Middle Ages when the Roman Legions withdrew from England and other provinces in the fifth century.
Likewise, there is no obvious date on which the Middle Ages can be said to have ceased. Many will say that it lasted until the Renaissance – but when did that begin? Indeed, many talk about other, ealier renaissances – the Carolingian, Ottonian and that occurring in the twelfth century. Perhaps the end-date should be about 1450 with the introduction into Europe of printing from moveable metal type. But many would consider this far too late. Fortunately, we can get through life quite happily without solving this conundrum!
Below you will find a fascinating book on the architectural history of Canterbury Cathedral, a selection of poems by Marie de France (a French noblewoman living in England in the late twelfth century) and the Venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. We hope to add further titles shortly.
Despite their modest size, the Lays of Marie de France are among the finest flowerings of Medieval French literature. They are charming, witty, and imbued with the code of courtly love. This new edition of Edith Rickert’s translations will appeal to the general reader as much as the medievalist.
Marie de France is thought to have been a noblewoman from the Isle de France or Normandy, living in England in the middle of the twelfth century. Her tales draw on the stories of her adopted country – both English and Celtic.
Edith Rickert (1871–1938), a talented linguist and medievalist, received her degree from Vassar in 1891, and returned there in 1897 to teach English. She received a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1899. In 1900 she went to England where she combined academic research with a busy career as a professional writer. She returned to the United States in 1909 and later lectured at the University of Chicago. During the First World War, she worked as a codebreaker.
Published 2009 184pp Pbk List Price 㾷.00 ISBN 978-1-904799-45-0
Tiger of the Stripe is proud to present a beautiful new edition of Bede's great classic of English (and British) history, the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum.
Bede (c. AD 672–735) was the first historian of the English people and, by the standards of his day, made careful use of documentary sources and first-hand accounts. It was finished in about AD 731.
His opening description of Britain drew on Pliny, Solinus, Orosius and Gildas, and much of his account of the Roman occupation relied on Orosius, Eutropius, and Gildas. However, for the rest of his History, he made use of English diocesan and monastic records and the copious correspondence held in the Vatican archives.
Published 2007 400pp Hbk List Price £25.00 ISBN 978-1-904799-15-3
Published 2008 400pp Pbk List Price £12.99 ISBN 978-1-904799-31-3
Since the arrival of Augustine in Kent in AD 597, Canterbury has been the very heart of the Church in England. The Saxon cathedral, much enlarged over the years, burnt down in 1067. Its replacement suffered a similar fate in 1174, to be rebuilt again. As a result, the modern visitor is presented with a confusing historical patchwork which needs some explanation.
Eadmer the singer was an eyewitness to the demolition of the Anglo-Saxon cathedral and the construction of the new one by Archbishop Lanfranc. He also describes the building of Conrad's 'glorious choir' at the time of Archbishop Anselm. Gervase of Canterbury likewise describes the destruction of Lanfranc's church by fire in 1174 and the rebuilding by William of Sens and English William.
Professor Willis connects these and other sources, such as William of Malmesbury and Matthew Paris, to his own acute observations, creating a vivid impression of the Saxon, Norman and later cathedral. The text is interspersed with many superb wood engravings which, in many cases, offer a clarity which is hard to achieve with photography.
Robert Willis (1800–1875) was Jacksonian Professor of natural and experimental philosophy at the University of Cambridge and lecturer in applied mechanics at the Metropolitan School of Science, Jermyn Street, London. He brought a new scientific rigour (but also an artistic eye) to the fields of archaeology and architectural history.
Published 2006 264pp Pbk List Price £11.50 ISBN 978-1-904799-04-7