Worthy Efforts: Attitudes to Work and Workers in Pre-Industrial Europe
In Worthy Efforts Catharina Lis and Hugo Soly offer an innovative approach to the history of perceptions and representations of work in Europe throughout Classical Antiquity and the medieval and early modern periods. Covering the broadest possible range of historical writings to elucidate the subject, and using visual representations as sources of information as well, they address the significance of work for different groups and its impact on their sense of self-esteem and their social identity. The authors reject the standard historical account of perceptions of work. They question the clear distinction generally drawn between Classical Antiquity and subsequent periods, the revolutionary role attributed to Christianity, and the part played by monasticism, Humanism, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment.