Bread of Dreams: Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Europe

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9780745603490: Bread of Dreams: Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Europe
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Piero Camporesi is one of the most original and exciting cultural historians in Europe today. In this remarkable book he examines the imaginative world of poor and ordinary people in pre-industrial Europe, exploring their everyday preoccupations, fears and fantasies. Camporesi develops the startling claim that many people in early modern Europe lived in a state of almost permanent hallucination, drugged by their hunger or by bread adulterated with hallucinogenic herbs. The use of opiate products, administered even to children and infants, was widespread and was linked to a popular mythology in which herbalists and exorcists were important cultural figures. Through a careful reconstruction of the everyday imaginative life of peasants, beggars and the poor, Camporesi presents a vivid and disconcerting image of early modern Europe as a vast laboratory of dreams. The book should be of interest to university students and academics in medieval and early modern European history, literature, sociology and anthropology; and general readers interested in life in pre-industrial Europe.

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Review:

"A remarkable and exciting recovery of an earlier cosmology elaborated around bread and body.′ Nature

"Stimulating and fun to read." The Historian

"This is a serious book which makes the body in early modern Europe at the same time more comprehensible and still more strange." Social History of Medicine

"Piero Camporesi confronts us here with a baroque panorama of jarring variations, lurid juxtapositions, and vertiginous shifts in setting and scale ... Camporesi insists on being the dramaturge and devil′s advocate of an alternative history." Speculum

"In Camporesi′s breathtaking vision, covering several centuries of early modern peasant society, and focusing chiefly but not exclusively on Italy, real social history and l′histoire des mentalites fuse." Roy Porter, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine

About the Author:

Piero Camporesi is professor of Italian literature at the University of Bologna.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780226092584: Bread of Dreams: Food and Fantasy in Early-Modern Europe

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0226092585 ISBN 13:  9780226092584
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 1989
Softcover

9780745618364: Bread of Dreams: Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Europe

Polity, 1996
Softcover

9780226092577: Camporesi: Bread of Dreams

Univer..., 1989
Hardcover

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Piero Camporesi
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Piero Camporesi; Translator-David Gentilcore; Introduction-Roy Porter
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CAMPORESI, Piero (trans. David Gentilcore)
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