“Freedman shows that spices are central to understanding the Middle Ages—they motivated the whole trading system of the Mediterranean world.”—Christopher Dyer, University of Leicester
“This is a magical book. With scintillating learning and imagination, Paul Freedman has conjured up a medieval Europe shot through with the magic of strong tastes and smells. He has uncovered a craving—a craving for spices which would eventually drive Europeans to the edges of the world in their pursuit. Freedman has done more than uncover the taste buds of a forgotten Europe. He has rewritten a fateful chapter in the history of the world.”—Peter Brown, Princeton University
“Like the spices—flavors, perfumes, and medicinals—so urgently sought by medieval populations, Out of the East is a consummate delight. I loved Freedman’s droll account of the debate over the precise geographical location of paradise (off the Atlantic? Northeast of India?), and of the tireless travelers who helped bring the spices of the East to European tables. At last, the voyages of Columbus make perfect sense. Spices!”—Marion Nestle, New York University
“Paul Freedman combines his formidable scholarship with story-telling skills to offer a unique history of spice. He has taken our ancient fascination with spice as offering the taste of paradise, and as an elixir of life to paint a rich canvas of life in medieval Europe, dispelling in the process many commonly held myths. Out of the East is a riveting story of many adventures launched in the quest of spice and how it shaped European social life. Freedman serves history as a delectable banquet.”—Nayan Chanda, author of Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization
"[An] absorbing new history, in which [Freedman] uses food to get and keep our attention."—Corby Kummer, Yale Alumni Magazine
(Corby Kummer, Yale Alumni Magazine
"Written in an approachable style with intriguing images and inset quotes from primary sources, this scholarly work will also appeal to general readers. . . . Recommended."—Choice
"Meticulously researched but wearing its erudition lightly."--Sharon Kinoshita, Speculum--A Journal of Medieval Studies
(Sharon Kinoshita Speculum - A Journal of Medieval Studies
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Paul Freedman is Chester D. Tripp Professor of History, Yale University. His previous books include Images of the Medieval Peasant, The Origins of Peasant Servitude in Medieval Catalonia, and Food: The History of Taste.