Life in a Medieval Abbey
For nearly a thousand years, monasteries dominated the landscape of England and the lives of English people. Throughout the Middle Ages, a fascinating variety of people joined the monasteries, from saints and statesmen to rogues and runaways. Life within the Abbey centered on the church, where, following the teachings of the Italian monk, St. Benedict, the nuns and monks spent most of the day praising God. At the same time, however, these nuns and monks made a distinct and valuable contribution to the cultural life of England. The medieval monasteries were beacons of scholarship and artistic endeavor, producing works of great beauty and intellectual breadth. This world of medieval monasticism was swept away during the 16th-century Reformation under Henry VIII.
The four main sections of this book (daily life, the origins of monastic life, monasteries in the medieval world, decline and fall) not only open a window on to a day in the life of a monk, but also tell a fascinating story of cultural flowering and decay.
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