Monks and Markets

In Monks and Markets Dr Threlfall-Holmes provides a unique insight into medieval consumer behaviour and challenges the view that the middle ages were bound by tradition. Using Durham Cathedral Priory's outstanding archive she discusses diet, the factors influencing purchasing decisions, the priory's use of the market and of tenants, and their suppliers. - ;The institutions of the middle ages are generally seen as tradition-bound; Monks and Markets challenges this assumption. Durham's outstanding archive has allowed the uncovering of an unprecedented level of detail about the purchasing strategies of one of England's foremost monasteries, and it is revealed that the monks were indeed reflective, responsive, and innovative when required. If this is true of a large Benedictine monastery, it is likely to be true also for the vast. majority of other households and institutions in Medieval England for which comparable evidence does not exist. Furthermore, this study gives a unique insight into the nature of medieval consumer behaviour, which throughout history, and particularly from before the early modern period, remains a relatively neglected subject. Chapters are devoted to the diet of monks, the factors influencing their purchasing decisions, their use of the market and their exploitaiton of tenurial relationships, and their suppliers. - ; important contribution to our understanding of the region's economy. - ; important study that contains a detailed and authoritative exploration of the consumption and purchasing patterns of a major medieval monastic institution. - Reviews in History