Book Series The Medieval Countryside , vol. 2

The Medieval Household: Daily Life in Castles and Farmsteads

Scandinavian Examples in their European Context

Eva Svensson

  • Pages: 382 p.
  • Size:160 x 240 mm
  • Illustrations:73 b/w, 17 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2009

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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-52590-7
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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55994-0
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This book investigates four excavated Swedish sites - the castles of Saxholmen and Edsholm, and the rural settlements of Skramle and Skinnerud - in order to juxtapose the daily life of nobles in their castles and peasants in their rural settlements.

Review(s)

"Eva Svensson's The Medieval Household: Daily Life in Castles and Farmsteads. Scandinavian Examples in their European Context is beautifully produced with an extensive bibliography, superb photographs, and well-produced graphics."

(B. Hudson, in The Medieval Review, 09.10.01)

"It is wonderfully refreshing to find that the author is very willing to let the reader know her speculations about interpreting the evidence."

(Barbara A. Hanawalt, in Speculum 86/2, April 2011, p. 560)

Summary

Recent archaeological excavations in Scandinavia provide us with a fascinating insight into the household and its function as a social focus for people of different medieval social estates. This book investigates four excavated Swedish sites - the castles of Saxholmen and Edsholm, and the rural settlements of Skramle and Skinnerud - in order to juxtapose the daily life of nobles and peasants. The author argues that the practices of everyday life revealed by these sites offer new insights into social traditions, mentalities, and cultural patterns. In particular, she asserts that notwithstanding the huge social gulf between the peasantry and the nobility in medieval Scandinavia, the two social groups shared some fundamental experiences which point to a common cultural milieu. In turn, the author uses daily life as a prism for addressing the formation of common European cultural traits during the medieval period by comparing these excavations with material from comparable sites in Central and Western Europe. By means of this comparison, the author questions the degree to which we may talk about a process of ‘Europeanization’ taking place in this era.