Johan Huizinga and ‘Autumntide of the Middle Ages’

Benjamin Ivry at Salmagundi:

Although Autumntide may seem ornately literary today, when it was first published, some historians criticized its racy readability. Otto Oppermann, a German-Dutch medievalist who taught at Utrecht, referred to the book as “Huizinga’s crime novel,” implying that it was all too vivid an experience.
What appeared inappropriate to some academics a century ago has bolstered the book’s enduring charm. The historian William J. Bouwsma pointed out in the winter 1974 issue of Daedalus that Autumntide may be “enjoyed as a work of high art, full of color and life, as in its marvelous opening chapter with its bells and processions, its public executions and public tears…[Huizinga] had a singularly original and stimulating mind, provocative even when it seems most limited and perverse.”

more here.