Piero Camporesi

Piero Camporesi was one of the twentieth century’s most original and exciting historians, whose work on popular beliefs, habits, folklore and consumption patterns revolutionized our understanding of the culture and mentalités of ancien régime Europe. For many years a professor at the University of Bologna, Camporesi weaved together a keen literary ability with the rigour of an historian and the interpretative skill of an anthropologist. His astonishing intellectual range saw him map the imaginative and symbolic world of ordinary people in medieval and early modern Europe in areas ranging from food, drink and drugs to religious rituals and magical beliefs. His treatment of these themes brilliantly interpreted the unfamiliar and disconcerting assumptions and beliefs of past eras in their own terms. Polity has published many of his books, including Bread of Dreams, Anatomy of the Senses, Magic Harvest and The Land of Hunger.