Originally published in 1984, this is a study of the kings and the aristocracy who ruled England between the Conquest and the Reformation. Not, as usual, about their adult lives, but how they became the people they were through childhood and education. The first such study of its kind, it follows noble boys and girls from birth through the care of their nurses, masters and mistresses, until they left home for further training in noble households, monasteries and universities. The author examines the theories and treatises on noble education, again for the first time.
The rest of the book broadens into a wide cultural survey as Dr Orme describes the skills and ideas which noble children learnt. He explains how they mastered speech and literacy; worship and behaviour; dancing, music and applied art; athletics and training for war. This part of the study is a handbook of noble pursuits in medieval times. In his final chapter the author considers the nature of noble education in the middles ages, and examines how and whether it changed at the Renaissance.
Nicholas Orme has written a comprehensive study, spanning 450 years of English history and making a major contribution to social and cultural history, as well as the history of education. His book will be invaluable to historians and medievalists of all disciplines, and essential reading from those who study the Renaissance.
List of Illustrations. Preface. List of Abbreviations. 1. Growing up at Home 2. Away from the Family 3. The Literature of Education 4. Language, Belief, Behaviour 5. Letters and Other Arts 6. Arms and Athletics 7. From ‘Medieval’ to ‘Renaissance’. Bibliography. Index.
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