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About the Professor

Jennifer McNabb is Professor of History and the head of the Department of History at the University of Northern Iowa. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2003. Professor McNabb has spoken and published widely on social relationships in early modern Europe, especially courtship and marriage. In addition to articles in journals such as the Sixteenth Century Journal and Journal of Women’s History, she has authored material for several textbooks on Western civilization and European history. Professor McNabb has served as president of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association and is a former chair of the program committee of the Midwest Conference on British Studies.

What listeners say about Sex, Love, and Marriage from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment

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can not finish it

immediately the author seems to support the churchs view on marriage and sex even stating unproven ideas from the Bible as if there is only one interpretation and without full context

I expected at least a neutral presentation of the facts as they are know.

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very good.

it was interesting to see how marriage was classified and handles at various points in time and the conditions it operated under.

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interesting

it talked about prostitutes and how marriage is just as much alive today as it was back then..

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don't waste your time

One of the worst history books I've encountered. this is an opinionand interpretation book. Not much of a history book

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Wow. What an ignorant lecturer.

What Jennifer McNabb presents is a series of gross parodies, half-truths and blatant falsities. I mean, she gets basic facts wrong, like Joseph and Mary being married - they weren't, they were only betrothed - but it gets repeated several times. There is no conception of the divine Eros, not Eros as one of the central Christian values, this goes back on the idiotic myth that the Church was anti-sex. The lectures simply show a deep ignorance of the worldviews that permeated the world, instead she takes a modern fem-neurotic view which fails to say anything true about the time or topic the lectures are meant to be about - wrongly portraying the development of the ideas of marriage in a blatantly ahistorical way.

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what's love got to do with it?

Another fantastic read from professor McNabb! From the early days of the church excoriating it's congregations for being too weak-willed to abstain from physical congress and reluctantly approving of marriage for the sake of procreation only (the church fathers and especially Jerome and Augustin of Hippo), to the courtly romance of the chivalric tradition. The use of marriage and romance to expand dynasties throughout western Europe from the Middle ages to the early modern period. This book is a must for anyone with even a passing interest in western European history, especially if you're interested in the lives of ordinary people during this time. If the people from these times could choose someone from today to speak on their behalf, it would be professor McNabb without question!

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Loved it

First off i love the author, she makes it interesting, relevant and draws you in so you want to know more. She does such a good job in making you want more i have three other books by her that i also loved.
With todays world and many young moving towards “marriage is just a paper” attitude i think this lecture has even more bearing because it tells us how “legal” marriages came to be and what importance they have which still has its place today.

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Interesting

Pretty interesting book about the history of sex. I did not know about alot of these facts.

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  • amazoncustomer
  • 05-21-22

Very interesting!

A fascinating account of how the medieval church tried to control human lust and love, making rules for its expression. Celibacy was seen as pure and sex as sinful. Marriage was for those who didn't have the will to control their sin: 'better to marry than to burn' (i.e. In hell). With the coming of the Enlightenment, marriage for love and companionship became possible and religion lost its all consuming grip on people's private life, yet a residual influence remains. Really fascinating!

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  • Andreas
  • 10-06-21

Great course

Incredibly detailed, pulling directly from the source material. Would have been interesting to hear more about same sex relationships, but the author did stress that there was a lack of material on this in the historical record.