In medieval society and culture, memory occupied a unique position. It was central to intellectual life and the medieval understanding of the human mind. Commemoration of the dead was also a fundamental Christian activity. Above all, the past - and the memory of it - occupied a central position in medieval thinking, from ideas concerning the family unit to those shaping political institutions. Focusing on France but incorporating studies from further afield, this collection of essays marks an important new contribution to the study of medieval memory and commemoration. Arranged thematically, each part highlights how memory cannot be studied in isolation, but instead intersects with many other areas of medieval scholarship, including art history, historiography, intellectual history, and the study of religious culture. Key themes in the study of memory are explored, such as collective memory, the links between memory and identity, the fallibility of memory, and the linking of memory to the future, as an anticipation of what is to come.
'Aimed at students of the Middle Ages, this richly documented and well-illustrated volume provides provocative perspectives on the subjective role of remembrance of things past. The subjective memories of earlier times that are created are then transmitted down through the ages to enhance the understanding of the modern medievalist.' French Review
'As a whole, the book evidences how themed conferences can inspire intriguing new scholarship, serves as a worthy introduction to the state of the field, and makes a strong case for the further pursuit of the study of memory in the Middle Ages.' Medieval Review
'The volume has a cohesive unity not always found in collections from conference origins, and together the essays present an understanding of memory that is both multivalent and wide reaching. ... this is a well-organized volume with thoughtful essays that will prove of interest for scholars of medieval memory, both seasoned and new.' Catholic Historical Review
'The editors are to be commended for their excellent introductory essay which clearly articulates a coherent vision for the volume as a whole.' Sehepunkte
'This wide-ranging volume makes an important and timely contribution to the burgeoning field of memory studies... it is a welcome presence on this medievalist’s shelf.' Peregrinations
'The presentation of new research, particularly by Porto Rodriguez, Levy, Fronska, and Gaposchkin, is remarkable. It is a sign of the anthology's success to state with certainty that every chapter is illuminating and memorable. As a whole, this multi-disciplinary volume greatly enhances our comprehension of medieval cultural history in France.' Reviews in History
'The publishers are to be commended for their standards of production. The quantity and quality of illustrations, though black and white, is high. They are clear, of an appropriate size, and placed in the text where they are discussed. An index - so often absent