Giovanna d’Arco e la Guerra dei Cent’Anni (Italian translation of the Virgin Warrior) (Milano: Mondadori, 2010).
Un’ avvincente “storia narrata”, la prima della fortunata collana che ha per protagonista una donna: Giovanna d’Arco, una delle figure femminili più straordinarie e controverse della storia, la fanciulla guerriera che nel XV secolo inflisse pesanti sconfitte agli inglesi, ribaltò le sorti dell’assedio d’Orléans, riconquistò Reims, sottomise le campagne tra Parigi e Bourges e rese possibile l’incoronazione di Carlo VII. A partire dagli atti del processo che condannarono la fanciulla al rogo per eresia e stregoneria, Larissa Taylor, ricostruisce con straordinaria capacità di scrittura la vita e le gesta eroiche della giovane che contribuì a creare la nazione francese. Personaggio controverso, per molti Giovanna era ispirata direttamente da Dio, per altri era una pazza invasata. In queste pagine coinvolgenti emerge tutta l’ambiguità della pulzella d’Orléans: una contadina analfabeta di diciassette anni in grado però di guidare un esercito, con carismatica destrezza e genio strategico.
The Virgin Warrior: The Life and Death of Joan of Arc (London: Yale University Press, 2009).
France’s great heroine and England’s great scourge: whether a lunatic, a witch, a religious icon, or a skilled soldier and leader, Joan of Arc’s contemporaries found her as extraordinary and fascinating as the legends that abound about her today. But her life has been so endlessly cast and recast that we have lost sight of the remarkable girl at the heart of it – a teenaged peasant girl who, after claiming to hear voices, convinced the French king to let her lead a disheartened army into battle. In the process she changed the course of European history. In “The Virgin Warrior”, Larissa Juliet Taylor paints a vivid portrait of Joan as a self-confident, charismatic and supremely determined figure, whose sheer force of will electrified those around her and struck terror into the hearts of the English soldiers and leaders. The drama of Joan’s life is set against a world where visions and witchcraft were real, where saints could appear to peasants, battles and sieges decided the fate of kingdoms and rigged trials could result in burning at the stake. Yet in her short life, Joan emboldened the French soldiers and villagers with her strength and resolve. A difficult, inflexible leader, she defied her accusers and enemies to the end. From her early years to the myths and fantasies that have swelled since her death, Taylor teases out a nuanced and engaging story of the truly irresistible ‘ordinary’ girl who rescued France.
The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage (Leiden: Brill, 2009)
The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage is an interdisciplinary reference work, giving wide coverage of the role of travel in medieval religious life. Dealing with the period 300-1500 A.D., it offers both basic data on as broad a range of European pilgrimage as possible and clearly written, self-contained introductions to the general questions of pilgrimage research. Despite widespread modern interest in medieval pilgrimage and related issues, no comprehensive work of this type exists and it will be of interest to scholars and students for personal and academic use. Local sites of pilgrimage are represented in this work as well as the main routes to Rome, Jerusalem and Santiago. Written and material sources relating to pilgrimage are used to illustrate aspects of medieval society, from brewing, book production and the trade in relics, to the development of the towns, art, architecture and literature which pilgrimage engendered. The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage will serve as the main starting point for any serious study of this phenomenon. The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage is published in English in one illustrated volume of 550,000 words in 435 signed entries, and is compiled and written by over 180 contributors from Europe and North America. Entries are presented alphabetically under headwords, with cross-references, maps, black-and-white illustrations, an editorial introduction and indexes.
Soldiers of Christ: Preaching in Late Medieval and Reformation France
RSART: Renaissance Society of America Reprint Text Series _ 14, University of Toronto Press, 2002.
In an age when the printed book was still in its infancy, the pulpit was the mass medium. A vital part of religious life, sermons were the chief occasions on which the church attempted to bridge the gap between high theology and popular religious culture. The preaching event provided the opportunity for men and women to socialize, flirt, dispute with or mock the preacher and, in a more positive way, to heed the preacher’s words and change their lives. Larissa Taylor has examined over 1600 sermons given by the leading lay preachers in France between 1460 and 1560, and examines the social context of preaching and the sermon while reconstructing popular attitudes towards original sin, free will, purgatory, the Devil, the sacraments, and the magical arts.
Previously published by Oxford University Press, 1992. Winner of the 1996 John Nicholas Brown Prize of the Medieval Academy of America.
Preachers and People in the Reformations and Early Modern Europe
Boston, ppk. repr. 2003; Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2001.
Sermons are an invaluable source for our knowledge of religious history and sociology, anthropology, and the mental landscape of men and women in pre-modern Europe, of what they were taught and what they practiced. But how did an individual process the preached message from the pulpit? How exactly do written sermons duplicate the preached Word? Do they at all? The 11 leading scholars who have contributed to this book do not offer uniform answers or an all-encompassing study of preaching in the Reformations and early modern period in Europe. They do, however, provide new insights on Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed preaching in Western and Central Europe. Part One examines changes in sermon structure, style and content in Christian sermons from the thematic sermon typical of the Middle Ages to the wide variety of later preaching styles. Catholic preaching after Trent proves not to be monolithic and intolerant, but a hybrid of forms past and present, applied as needed to particular situations. Lutheran homiletic theory is traced from Luther and through Melanchthon, the intention of the sermon being to transform the worship service based on exegesis of Scripture. In Reformed worship, the expository sermon, often given on a daily basis with a continuing exegesis, was designed to communicate the tenets of the faith in terms that the laity could understand (“plain style”). Part Two deals with the social history of preaching in France, where preachers often incited their hearers to attack human beings or holy objects or were themselves attacked; in Italy, where preaching became a collective and “home-grown” product; in early modern Germany, where the authorities strove for uniformity of preaching practice and the preacher was seen as a moral guardian; in Switzerland, where leaders from Zwingli on sought to bring religious practice, conduct, and government in line with biblical teaching and propagated a pastoral vision of preaching; in England, where after the Reformation preachers became the indispensable agents of salvation, but clergy and congregations were often ill-prepared for the task; in Scandinavia, where post-Reformation sermons have a clear didactic aim, teaching obedience to the authorities; and in the Low Countries, characterised by its numerous denominations, all with their own churches and particular practices in terms of preaching. The volume ends with a consideration of the influence of late medieval preaching on the Reformation, concluding that the diversity of emphasis on how the practice of penance was preached (and received) very likely affected the appeal (or not) of the Lutheran/Reformed message in a given country. Preachers and People in the Reformations and Early Modern Period is previously published by Brill Academic Publishers in hardback (ISBN 90 04 11564 1, still available)
Heresy and Orthodoxy in Sixteenth-Century Paris: François Le Picart and the Beginnings of the Catholic Reformation
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Incorporated Series: Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thou., Leiden and Boston: Brill, 1999
This is the story of Paris from the Reformation to the Religious Wars. Through the works of Francois Le Picart, the most popular preacher from 1530-1556, the book delineates the increasing tensions sparked by Reformation ideas. Targeted by Calvin and Beza, Le Picart was considered the reason Paris remained in the Catholic fold. A fierce opponent of heresy, he helped compile the Articles of Faith, read heretical books, lectured on scripture, and presided at executions. His 270 sermons, the only substantial preaching source for this period, offer glimpses of life during these increasingly troubled times that challenge works by Denis Crouzet suggesting that France was in the grip of eschatological anguish.
Barry D. Sell, Larissa Taylor, and Asuncion Lavrin, Nahua Confraternities in Early Colonial Mexico: The 1552 Nahua Ordinances of fray Alonso de Molina, OFM Berkeley: The American Academy of Franciscan History, 2003.
JOURNAL GUEST EDITOR
The Last Things, Historical Reflections 26:2 (2000).
Great Events from History: The 17th Century (Pasadena: Salem Press, 2006).
Great Lives from History: The 17th Century (Pasadena: Salem Press, 2006).
Robert Ziomkowski (author), Larissa Juliet Taylor (editor), CLEP Western Civilization I Ancient Near East to 1648 (Research & Education Association, 2007)