Life in the Medieval Cloister

Front Cover
Bloomsbury, Jul 14, 2009 - Religion - 256 pages
3 Reviews
Life in the Medieval Cloister makes extensive use of primary sources and quotations from chronicles, letters, customaries and miracle stories, and the experience of medieval monastic life is presented through the monks' own words. Medievalist Julie Kerr provides day to day account of life in the medieval monastery from the Norman conquest to the Dissolution, with a particular focus on the high Middle ages, exploring such questions as:

What effect did the ascetic lifestyle have on the monks' physical health and mental well-being?


How difficult was it for newcomers to adapt to the rigors of the cloister?


Did the monks suffer from anxiety and boredom; what caused them concern and how did they seek comfort?


What did it really mean to live the solitary life within a communal environment and how significant were issues of loneliness and isolation?


Life in the Medieval Cloister makes an important contribution to our understanding of medieval monastic life by exploring key aspects that have been either inadequately addressed or overlooked by historians, but also offers an up close and personal perspective on a fascinating, but little known, corner of history.

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Review: Life in the Medieval Cloister

User Review  - EM Powell - Goodreads

I don't know why I ever put this book on my currently-reading shelf. It really belongs on my 'always reading' shelf! I use Kerr's book as a work of reference for my own writing and enjoy it hugely in ... Read full review

Review: Life in the Medieval Cloister

User Review  - Ann - Goodreads

Very good. Written in a very interesting to read style using original source materials. Read full review

About the author (2009)

Dr. Julie Kerr is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Medieval History at the University of St Andrews. Her research centres on monasticism in England and she is the author of Monastic Hospitality: The Benedictines in England (Boydell, 2007).

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