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Financial Times [A]nything Pleij writes in his native Dutch is a joy to read. Diane Webb's exrtemely smooth translation does proper justice to Pleij's prose, and her renditions of the Middle Dutch texts that form the core of this study deserve high praise. In sum, if Huizinga is truly the founder of Dutch cultural studies, then Pleij has demonstrated with this book that he is a worthy successor to the same cause. David F. Johnson, Speculum. List of Illustrations Part 1.
The Forfeiture of Happiness: The Beginning 1.
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Paradise Lost 2. Contours of a Book 3. The Power of Literature Part 2. Texts as Maps 4.
Recitation and Writing 7. Oral Structures in Writing 8. The Existing Potential 9. The Prose Text on Luilekkerland Part 3.
Eating to Forget Eating Habits Hunger and Scarcity The Topos of Hunger The Intoxicating Effect of Fasting Gorging in Self-Defense Food in Motion Literary Refreshment Part 4. Paradise Refurbished The Land of Cockaigne as Paradise Never Say Die Heavenly Rewards Other Paradises Lovely Places, Golden Ages Wonder Gardens and Pleasure Parks Dreams of Immortality Part 5.
Book - Dreaming of Cockaigne - Letterenfonds
The Imagination Journeys Forth Geographical Musings Real Dreamworlds Wonders of East and West Fanciful Destinations Virtual Dreamlands Part 6. The crowd laughs at the often failed attempts to hold on to the pole. One might ask whether it is valid to distinguish between popular and learned beliefs, or whether it might not be reasonable to assume that the learned and unlearned classes in early European society held witch beliefs that were substantially identical.
Indeed, it is likely that popular culture had many features in common with learned tradition, and was subject to constant influence from it. There were numerous possibilities for contact and exchange between the literate and illiterate classes.
Parish priests, and perhaps merchants and other groups, might stand midway between the two extremes; they were frequently from the lower or middle classes, and remained constantly in touch with these classes, yet at the same time they were exposed to the beliefs of cultured individuals. Sermons and plays could readily serve as media for popular dissemination of originally learned notions.
Hansen suggested that he theatrical devils of the medieval stage influenced popular notions of how devils act. Even woodcuts could fulfill a similar function so long as there was someone on hand to interpret their representations in the intended sense.
Anglo-Irish poems of the Middle Ages
The scandal aroused by trials for witchcraft might in itself spread learned notions about witches among the populace, whose presence at the executions would be a matter of common occurrence. In one instance the number of spectators at an execution was estimated between six and eight thousand; even allowing for exaggeration, there must have been many people present, and many of them must have known the specific crimes to which the subject had confessed.
During the sixteenth century, when extended series of witch trials occurred in many communities, it would be odd indeed if these notions failed to permeate the people at large.
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