Honor, Vengeance, and Social Trouble: Pardon Letters in the Burgundian Low Countries by Peter ArnadeHonor, Vengeance, and Social Trouble: Pardon Letters in the Burgundian Low Countries by Peter Arnade

Honor, Vengeance, and Social Trouble: Pardon Letters in the Burgundian Low Countries

byPeter Arnade, Walter Prevenier

Paperback | February 17, 2015

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Among the more intriguing documentary sources from late medieval Europe are pardon letters—petitions sent by those condemned for serious crimes to monarchs and princes in France and the Low Countries in the hopes of receiving a full pardon. The fifteenth-century Burgundian Low Countries and duchy of Burgundy produced a large cache of these petitions, from both major cities (Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, and Dijon) and rural communities. In Honor, Vengeance, and Social Trouble, Peter Arnade and Walter Prevenier present the first study in English of these letters to explore and interrogate the boundaries between these sources' internal, discursive properties and the social world beyond the written text.

Honor, Vengeance, and Social Trouble takes the reader out onto the streets and into the taverns, homes, and workplaces of the Burgundian territories, charting the most pressing social concerns of the day: everything from family disputes and vendettas to marital infidelity and property conflicts—and, more generally, the problems of public violence, abduction and rape, and the role of honor and revenge in adjudicating disputes. Arnade and Prevenier examine why the right to pardon was often enacted by the Burgundian dukes and how it came to compete with more traditional legal means of resolving disputes. In addition, they consider the pardon letter as a historical source, highlighting the limitations and pitfalls of relying on documents that are, by their very nature, narratives shaped by the petitioner to seek a favored outcome. The book also includes a detailed case study of a female actress turned prostitute.

An example of microhistory at its best, Honor, Vengeance, and Social Trouble will challenge scholars while being accessible to students in courses on medieval and early modern Europe or on historiography.

Peter Arnade is Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. He is the author of Beggars, Iconoclasts, and Civic Patriots: The Political Culture of the Dutch Revolt and Realms of Ritual: Burgundian Ceremony and Civic Life in Late Medieval Ghent, both from Cornell. Walter Pre...
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Title:Honor, Vengeance, and Social Trouble: Pardon Letters in the Burgundian Low CountriesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:9.25 × 6.13 × 0.27 inPublished:February 17, 2015Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801479916

ISBN - 13:9780801479915

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Table of Contents

Introduction. The Forgiving Prince: Pardons and Their Origins

1. Social Discord: Disputes, Vendettas, and Political Clients

2. Violence, Honor, and Sexuality

3. Marital Conflict

4. Actress, Wife, or Lover? Maria van der Hoeven Accused and Defended

Conclusion. People and Their Stories

Bibliographical Note
Index

Editorial Reviews

"In this fascinating study of pardon letters, juridical records at the interstices of legal custom, literary construct, and social action, Peter Arnade and Walter Prevenier offer expert guidance as we ponder the questions they raise about sex and gender, family and personal honor, social networking and individual resistance. Even more important, they open up a rich world of human crime and passion ignored by most traditional sources."—Walter Simons, Dartmouth College, author of Cities of Ladies: Beguine Communities in the Medieval Low Countries, 1200–1565