Flesh and Spirit: Private Life in Early Modern Germany

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9780140291988: Flesh and Spirit: Private Life in Early Modern Germany

In this exceptional piece of social history Steven Ozment sifts through private papers and public archives to analyse and weave together fascinating primary documents relating to five German families in the early 16th and 17th Centuries. This penetrating look at the family circle provides a rounded and insightful portrait of an age and of a people. In a captivating narrative by an author hailed as 'scholarly, immpecable yet at the same time perfectly accesible to general readers' (Booklist) we find the struggles, failures and successes of the family of the past bear striking resemblances to our own.

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Review:

According to Steven Ozment, "the more deeply the family life of the past is probed, the more 'modern' the pre-industrial family is discovered to have been and the more 'traditional' the modern family appears to be." In Flesh and Spirit: Private Life in Early Modern Germany, Ozment illustrates this remarkably stable history by viewing both the 16th-century family and the larger world around it through the eyes of individual household members.

Ozment's five chapters illuminate the life cycle of the family from its origins in courtship and marriage to the sending forth of a new adult generation. Each of the five families--one clerical and four merchant--document the inner life of the urban family during at least one stage of the cycle. All of the featured families are well-to-do citizens of Nürnberg, one of Europe's great merchant and intellectual cities of the time.

A professor of history at Harvard University, Ozment firmly commands his subject matter and convincingly weaves familial history with the social, economic, political, religious, and cultural history of the times. Although his detailed historical excursions frequently interrupt the flow of the personal narrative, the context they provide enhances the reader's understanding of both personal and societal histories. For example, his discussion of courtship and marriage encompasses high-society gossip, the coronation of a new emperor, contemporary response to the Protestant Reformation, as well as attitudes toward chastity, inheritance, and arranged marriages. Flesh and Spirit provides a fascinating look at both 16th-century Nürnberg and the private lives of its citizens. --Bertina Loeffler Sedlack

About the Author:

Steven Ozment is McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern history at Harvard University. His previous books include THE BURGERMEISTER'S DAUGHTER and THE AGE OF REFORM, the winner of the Schaff History prize and a finalist for the National Book Award.

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Steven E. Ozment
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ISBN 10: 0140291989 ISBN 13: 9780140291988
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: New. UNUSED, VERY GOOD, NOT EX-LIBRARY, edgewear, shows signs of shelfwear, 368 pages. In this exceptional piece of social history Steven Ozment sifts through private papers and public archives to analyse and weave together fascinating primary documents relating to five German families in the early 16th and 17th Centuries. This penetrating look at the family circle provides a rounded and insightful portrait of an age and of a people. In a captivating narrative by an author hailed as 'scholarly, immpecable yet at the same time perfectly accesible to general readers' (Booklist) we find the struggles, failures and successes of the family of the past bear striking resemblances to our own. Bookseller Inventory # 14465

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Steven E. Ozment
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: New. UNUSED, LIKE NEW, NOT EX-LIBRARY, 368 pages. In this exceptional piece of social history Steven Ozment sifts through private papers and public archives to analyse and weave together fascinating primary documents relating to five German families in the early 16th and 17th Centuries. This penetrating look at the family circle provides a rounded and insightful portrait of an age and of a people. In a captivating narrative by an author hailed as 'scholarly, immpecable yet at the same time perfectly accesible to general readers' (Booklist) we find the struggles, failures and successes of the family of the past bear striking resemblances to our own. Bookseller Inventory # 14464

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