Bread of Dreams : Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Europe
Piero Camporesi is one of the most original and exciting cultural historians in Europe today. In this remarkable book he examines the imaginative world of poor and ordinary people in pre-industrial Europe, exploring their everyday preoccupations, fears and fantasies. Camporesi develops the startling claim that many people in early modern Europe lived in a state of almost permanent hallucination, drugged by their hunger or by bread adulterated with hallucinogenic herbs. The use of opiate products, administered even to children and infants, was widespread and was linked to a popular mythology in which herbalists and exorcists were important cultural figures. Through a careful reconstruction of the everyday imaginative life of peasants, beggars and the poor, Camporesi presents a vivid and disconcerting image of early modern Europe as a vast laboratory of dreams. The book should be of interest to university students and academics in medieval and early modern European history, literature, sociology and anthropology; and general readers interested in life in pre-industrial Europe.
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- Hardback | 224 pages
- 152 x 229mm | 482g
- 18 May 1989
- Polity Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
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Table of contents
The Miserable Disease ;The Elusive Bread; Sacred and Profane Cannibalism; They Set Out into the World of the Vagabond; They Rotted in Their Own Manure; The World Turned Upside Down; The Famine of Living - the Time of Suspicion; Night-time; Ritual Battles and Popular Frenzies; Medicina Pauperum; Tightness of Purse; Collective Dizziness; Hyperbolic Dreams; Artificial Paradises; Bread; The Fickle and Verminous Colony; Putrid Worms and Vile Snails; A City of Mummies; The Triumph of Poverty.