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Phantoms of Remembrance:
Memory and Oblivion at the End of the First Millennium
Patrick J. Geary

Paperback | 1996 | $37.50 / £26.95 | ISBN: 9780691026039
264 pp. | 6 x 9 | 3 maps. 14 halftones. 4 figs. 3 tables
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Reviews | Table of Contents

In Phantoms of Remembrance, Patrick Geary makes important new inroads into the widely discussed topic of historical memory, vividly evoking the everyday lives of eleventh-century people and both their written and nonwritten ways of preserving the past. Women praying for their dead, monks creating and re-creating their archives, scribes choosing which royal families of the past to applaud and which to forget: it is from such sources that most of our knowledge of the medieval period comes. Throughout richly detailed descriptions of various acts of remembrance--including the naming of children and the recording of visions--the author unearths a wide range of approaches to preserving the past as it was or formulating the past that an individual or group prefers to imagine.

Review:

"Moving from general to particular, the author uses three case-studies to depict local patterns of memory.... Geary states his thesis with clarity ... [and] throw[s] light into the most elusive recesses of not just 'the past,' but of processes still going on, in and around us, in 1995."--Alexander Murray, The Times Literary Supplement

"[A] fascinating, deeply learned, and meticulous study.... This thoughtful book ... raises important questions pertinent to all periods."--Virginia Quarterly Review

Endorsement:

"A strikingly original study of the ways in which men and women of the eleventh century recorded, interpreted, and used their memories of the past. . . . [Geary] has made a significant contribution to our understanding of [this] period but to the wider discipline of medieval studies."--Thomas Head, Washington University, St. Louis

Table of Contents

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Patrick J. Geary:

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Hardcover published in 1995

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    File created: 4/17/2014

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