This is vintage Ozment fluent, insightful, provocative. "Ancestors" challenges us to take a fresh look at the way we approach the history of the family.--Roderick Phillips, Carleton UniversityVom Verlag:
A summary on family life in Europe past, this compact book extends and completes a project begun with Steven Ozment's "When Fathers Ruled: Family Life in Reformation Europe". Here Ozment replaces the often miserable depiction of pre-modern family relations with a delicately nuanced portrait of a vibrant and loving social group. Mining the records of families' private lives-from diaries and letters to fiction and woodcuts - Ozment shows us a pre-industrial family not very different from the later family of high industry that is generally viewed as the precursor to the sentimental nuclear family of today. In this text, we see the familiar pattern of a domestic wife and working father in a home in which spousal and parental love were amply present. Contrary to the abstractions of history, parents then - as now - were sensitive to the emotional and psychological needs of their children, treated them with affection, and gave them a secure early life and caring preparation for adulthood.
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