The book's rather choppy style of jumping from one cursorily treated text to another is something of a barrier, however, despite the elegant translations provided in appendices. And the argument cries out for the historical analysis Jaeger asserts to be necessary but often fails to provide. If the intrusion of women in the twelfth century forces ennobling love to "lose its innocence," one must surely ask why this intrusion occurred and why it caused a crisis of sexual awareness. The answer lies, I expect, in fundamental changes in family structure and the gender system, and in a radical shift in religious attitudes toward sex, the body, and the world that we associate with the Gregorian Reform.
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Book Ennobling Love In Search Of A Lost Sensibility
Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Stephen Jaeger. Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Ennobling Love by C. And the King of France loved him as his own soul; and they loved each other so much that the King of England was absolutely astonish "Richard, Duke of Aquitaine, son of the King of England, remained with Philip, the King of France, who so honored him for so long that they ate every day at the same table and from the same dish, and at night their beds did not separate them.
And the King of France loved him as his own soul; and they loved each other so much that the King of England was absolutely astonished at the vehement love between them and marveled at what it could mean. What do these expressions leave to interpretation? An extraordinary amount, as Stephen Jaeger demonstrates. Unlike current efforts to read medieval culture through modern mores, Stephen Jaeger contends that love and sex in the Middle Ages relate to each other very differently than in the postmedieval period.
Love was not only a mode of feeling and desiring, or an exclusively private sentiment, but a way of behaving and a social ideal. It was a form of aristocratic self-representation, its social function to show forth virtue in lovers, to raise their inner worth, to increase their honor and enhance their reputation. To judge from the number of royal love relationships documented, it seems normal, rather than exceptional, that a king loved his favorites, and the courtiers and advisors, clerical and lay, loved their superiors and each other.
Jaeger makes an elaborate, accessible, and certain to be controversial, case for the centrality of friendship and love as aristocratic lay, clerical, and monastic ideals. Ennobling Love is a magisterial work, a book that charts the social constructions of passion and sexuality in our own times, no less than in the Middle Ages. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.
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Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 02, Bryn Hammond rated it it was amazing Shelves: medieval-other. I thought it was brilliant. A different perspective on medieval love. Where study tends to compartmentalise into institutions and period — spiritual friendship in a religious setting, courtly love — Jaeger sees commonalities, and a line of evolution.
Book Ennobling Love In Search Of A Lost Sensibility
I had difficulty working out what this book was about, exactly, before I bought it. It isn't gay history, although he does remark that history of homosexuality has come closest to looking at the continuity he sees; however, that history excludes the I thought it was brilliant. It isn't gay history, although he does remark that history of homosexuality has come closest to looking at the continuity he sees; however, that history excludes the entry of women onto the scene.
Then, the scholarship on courtly love, Jaeger tells me, as of this moment in time, can only see that love-cult as bursting suddenly out of nowhere; this book is as much about the back story to courtly love. So, it's about medieval ideas of love, and he notices more consistency than has been noticed. Across specialities. Across genders, for ideas of 'ennobling love' took that leap — with consequences, yes, but most of the sensibility intact.