• Medieval Bodies

  • Life and Death in the Middle Ages
  • By: Jack Hartnell
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Just like us, medieval men and women worried about growing old, got blisters and indigestion, fell in love, and had children. And yet their lives were full of miraculous and richly metaphorical experiences radically different from our own, unfolding in a world where deadly wounds might be healed overnight by divine intervention, or where the heart of a king, plucked from his corpse, could be held aloft as a powerful symbol of political rule. 

In this witty and unusual history, Jack Hartnell uncovers the fascinating ways in which people thought about, explored, and experienced their physical selves in the Middle Ages, from Constantinople to Cairo and Canterbury. Unfolding like a medieval pageant, and filled with saints, soldiers, caliphs, queens, monks and monstrous beasts, it throws light on the medieval body from head to toe - revealing the surprisingly sophisticated medical knowledge of the time. 

Bringing together medicine, art, music, politics, philosophy, religion, and social history, there is no better guide to what life was really like for the men and women who lived and died in the Middle Ages. Perfumed and decorated with gold, fetishized, or tortured, powerful even beyond death, these medieval bodies are not passive and buried away; they can still teach us what it means to be human.

©2018 Jack Hartnell (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Medieval Bodies

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    23
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An interesting medieval time machine

This book was an interesting introduction to the medieval world. If you are interested in medieval history or life, then you should listen to this book. How the medieval world thought about the body and its functions are explored and there are some surprising revelations. The narrator was engaging and this book is not some dry read.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I really wanted to love this book, but...

This topic is one of my favorite genres so I was disappointed to find it boring. Lots of allusions to contemporary writers and texts, but if I hadn’t already read widely I never would’ve gotten those references. The timeline jumps back and forth in time, and doesn’t tie everything together. It was supposed to compare and contrast the knowledge of the‘People’s of the book’, but mostly skipped going deeper into Islamic and Jewish practices. I will admit that as I never made through a full chapter without falling asleep it could be used to lull you into sleep at bedtime so if you’re looking for a bedtime story this book fits the bill

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Probably Better Reading Physically

I found the permise and many of the informational tidbits fascinating. Yet, I found this book hard to pay attention to. I think this would be better read physically than as an audiobook.