1st Edition

Medieval Lives c. 1000-1292
The World of the Beaugency Family

ISBN 9781138677098
Published June 19, 2018 by Routledge
298 Pages

USD $42.95

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Book Description

Medieval Lives c. 1000–1292: The World of the Beaugency Family is a gateway into Europe during the Central Middle Ages. Through charting the lives of the Beaugency family, this book delves into the history of Western Europe and explores the impact of the changes and events of the period on those who experienced them.

The Central Middle Ages were years of profound transformation, and through the two centuries in which they lived the Beaugency family experienced many of the key developments that have characterized the period, such as the launch of the crusades and the emergence of the commercial economy. By following the lives of the family, this book instills a deeper understanding of the significance that human experience has on our ability to truly comprehend the crucial historical events of the age. It personalizes the history of the Middle Ages and provides students with a unique insight into the culture of the period.

Containing maps, genealogical tables, over thirty images, a large collection of previously unpublished archival sources used throughout the book, and accompanied by a companion website with interactive features, Medieval Lives c. 1000–1292: The World of the Beaugency Family is a portal into the lives of the Beaugency family and an ideal introduction to the Central Middle Ages.

Table of Contents

Introduction: History Means More when it Comes with a Name; Chapter 1: The Beaugencys and the World around Them; Chapter 2: Beaugency Family Life; Chapter 3: "Those Who Fought:" Medieval Lordship; Chapter 4: Ralph I, Lord of Beaugency, c.1080-1130; Chapter 5: The Beaugencys and the Peasants; Chapter 6: The Beaugencys and the Community of Believers; Chapter 7: The Beaugencys, the Abbess and the Abbot; Conclusion: From Warrior to Administrator

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Amy Livingstone is Professor of History at Ball State University, USA. She is author of Out of Love for My Kin: Aristocratic Family Life in the Lands of the Loire, 1000–1200, and several articles on noblewomen and noble families. She is also co-editor of Writing Medieval Women's Lives and the journal Medieval Prosopography.


'This book uses the lives of a typical aristocratic French family as a window into many of the key themes of the Central Middle Ages. As a prize-winning liberal arts teacher, Livingstone knows how to draw in student readers, and she does so by humanizing her subjects and making even the most complex topics, like medieval lordship, accessible. By pairing her own analysis of the Beaugency family with dozens of previously untranslated primary sources, Livingstone gives her readers a vivid sense of the way historians work with sources to make sense of the past.'

 Adam J. Davis, Denison University, USA 

'With a sensitive reading of landscape, material culture in its widest sense, and contemporary society, Medieval Lives evokes a complex world navigated by the Beaugency and their lords and tenants, a world marked by spiritual as well as practical concerns. A clearly written and accessible text, abundant photographs, judiciously chosen translated texts, and an interactive website provide an admirable illustration of how a medieval family "worked."'

Theodore Evergates, McDaniel College, USA

‘This is a richly detailed micro-history of the people and places associated with the Beaugency family in the central middle ages, yet it takes full account of important developments in the period 1000-1300. It serves as an excellent introduction to medieval social, political and economic history, backed up with a useful selection of primary sources.’

Leonie Hicks, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK

'In an engaging and candid writing style, Livingstone describes the changes of the Central Middle Ages through the lives and experiences of the men and women of one aristocratic family in central France, and leads her reader through the historiographical debates that swirl around that complex past. This is a fine introduction to the medieval period and many of the primary sources that inform our understanding of it.'

Kate Staples, West Virginia University, USA