Another book

March 29, 2007

M.T. Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record: England 1066-1307.
1979, 2nd ed. 1993.

In the preface to the 2nd ed. he explains that he hasn’t done comparisons between England and other countries because the evidence simply isn’t available yet:  thousands of charters and other documents all over the map are awaiting edition and study. But he points to the bibliography for samples of recent work in the field of medieval literacy.

Also: he says in the first edition he emphasized bureaucracy as the key to lay literacy; since then he has come to appreciate also the role of liturgy, the number of books of hours and the like being placed in the hands of well-born ladies…

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