Video: Historian Daniel Hobbins on the Great Age of Books

Author: Arts and Letters

University of Notre Dame Associate Professor Daniel Hobbins is a historian of high and late medieval Europe, with a particular interest in the cultural and intellectual history of the period from 1300 to 1500. Under this broad heading, his research has focused on late medieval authorship (through the example of Jean Gerson), Joan of Arc, and backgrounds to print.

In this video, Hobbins discusses his research on the tremendous changes in book production in the late Middle Ages, before the advent of print.

“The 14th century is not typically thought of as a great time to be alive,” he says, noting that the people of that time faced plague, war, and famine. “It’s been treated as a time of crisis and decline. Despite that, there was greater hunger for books than ever before.”

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Originally published by Arts and Letters at on January 17, 2013.