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The Mead-Hall: The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England Reprint Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1898281542
ISBN-10: 1898281548
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Anglo-Saxon Books; Reprint edition (December 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1898281548
  • ISBN-13: 978-1898281542
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Rick A. Riedlinger on March 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Focusing on the Anglo-Saxon institution of the mead-hall, the author leads us to a view of what may have been a basic building block of Germanic culture.
While culling his evidence primarily from the wealth of A/S literature (which he translates himself), Pollington enhances his material with data derived from archeological finds. The accuracy of his presentation sets his book squarely in the history/anthropology section of one's library.
The book is an exploration of what these early Anglo-Saxon people were like and how the mead-hall was a reflection of their society. The book explains a Germanic culture and worldview in simple, concise and elegant terms with easily followed arguments. This is added to by a pleasing writing style.
Few books of late have left me feeling my time was so well spent after the reading.
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Format: Hardcover
Stephen Pollington's The Mead-Hall: Feasting in Anglo-Saxon England, is a marvelous resource for anyone interested in the role of mead-halls in Anglo-Saxon England in particular or of feasting-halls in early Germanic culture in general. Pollington draws on a variety of resources from the literary to the historical to the archeological to give the most complete picture of everything you could possibly want to know about mead-halls. In particular, he always includes the literary references with both the original Old English text and the modern English translation, which is particularly useful in gaining a knowledge of the exact terms used and what they meant for everything involved in mead-hall culture. Pollingon also includes a number of well-drawn illustrations of mead-hall artifacts from actual archeological finds which help the reader to visualize Anglo-Saxon crafts and styles.

It would be impossible to lay out everything there is to learn from this book. The only way to even approximate it is to simply give you a partial look at the table of contents, which in itself gives you an idea of the breadth and depth of work this book encompasses:

1. Feasting and Society
- A Window on Early English Society
- Feasting in the Hall
- Meals and Mealtimes
- Symbel
...
- Oaths and Boasts
...
- Feasts, Marriages and Alliances
2. Living Space: The Hall in Reality
- The Hall and its Settlement
- Construction & Layout
- Building Techniques
...
- Hearth
- Seating
...
- Hall Development in Anglo-Saxon England
3. Ritual Space: The Hall in Ideology
- The Hall as the Ideal Dwelling
...
- The Joys of the Hall
4.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
The book was mentioned on the Anglo-Saxon Heathenry email list (I am a member). I ordered it based on the initial review by another member. My thought and that of many is that it should be a book that should set next to the Poetic Edda (in importance). The information is very well formated. It is easy to read and understand. The joke was passed around that now we could get rid of Bauschatz. If you be an Anglo-phile or Asa-tru this is a very good book. I cannot reccomend more highly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was for my wife. It is a book used in a class she took through a club we both belong to. The class was a brief overview, and she wanted the book so she could learn more and use it as a reference. I understand it is one of the best books available on this topic.
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