notes on reading: social
Views of London labor and the London poor in The Pilgrims of Hope and Princess Casamassima; views of London in general. Architectural bleakness, blackness from coal fires, lack of greenery. Access to nature belongs to idealized agricultural workers (who never go hungry) and wealthy persons.
Cf. Beatrice Webb (amusing how V. Woolf does not like her – compares her to a desiccated spider at the center of a Fabian ‘web’), Dickens & Mayhew.
Finish Fiction and the Reading Public. See also Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain: 1914–1950; search brain for lingering memories of The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, which is a much better book than The Intellectuals and the Masses.
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From Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas, and Power:
- Why ignore, in the chapter on ‘where goðar get their wealth’ what is mentioned in three later chapters: that not from trade, or land alone, but through advocacy in legal disputes the goðar were able to take large sums for relatively small actions?
- If, when starting out, you claim as one of your primary goals the rehabilitation of saga literature as a source for historical information, why leave that argument mainly implied in the work that follow? It is my ignorance speaking, but I’m disappointed in the lack of explicit critical discussion of the sources. Of course it is possible that the ‘findings’ Byock draws from the sagas are argument enough in their favor; this neophyte, however, was left out in the cold.