Johan Huizinga’s much-loved and much-contested Autumn of the Middle Ages, first published in 1919, encouraged an image of the Late French.
Middle Ages as a flamboyant but empty period of decline and nostalgia. Many studies, particularly literary studies, have challenged Huizinga’s perceptions of individual works or genres. Still, the vision of the Late French and Burgundian Middle Ages as a sad transitional phase between the High Middle Ages and the Renaissance persists. Yet, a series of exceptionally significant cultural developments mark the period. The Waxing of the Middle Ages sets out to provide a rich, complex, and diverse study of these developments and to reassert that late medieval France is crucial in its own right. The collection argues for an approach that views the late medieval period not as an afterthought, or a blind spot, but as a period that is key in understanding the fluidity of time, traditions, culture, and history. Each essay explores some “cultural form,” to borrow Huizinga’s expression, to expose the false divide that has dominated modern scholarship.
About the Editors
Tracy Adams is professor in European Languages and Literatures at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She is the author of Violent Passions: Managing Love in the Old French Verse Romance (2005), The Life and Afterlife of Isabeau of Bavaria (2010), Christine de Pizan and the Fight for France (2014), and Agnès Sorel and the French Monarchy: History, Gallantry, and National Identity (2022).
Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier is Associate Professor of French at the University of Vermont. His research focuses on late medieval and Renaissance French literature and the history of emotions. He has written on Christine de Pizan, Ronsard, du Bellay, Philippe de Mézières, and Renaissance Theater.