We have just received a glowing review of Louise Milne's Carnivals and Dreams, from Professor Christopher Wood at Yale University. Prof Wood writes:
Louise Milne’s Carnivals and Dreams is one of the most searching and imaginative studies of Pieter Bruegel’s art ever published. Milne tracks the transformation, in sixteenth-century Europe and in Bruegel’s paintings, of the folk ritual of Carnival into a societal nightmare of disorder and violence. Bruegel’s art, in her analysis, dramatizes the historical breakdown of community, the interrupted continuity between the living and the dead, and the licensing of misogyny and self-interest. She has the courage to return to the original insight of the Surrealists that the fantastical imagery developed by Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch was a way of thinking about the nature of dreams. This allows us to see, with Bruegel, that religious and social boundaries were finally a set of controls on the body and the sexual imagination. Milne’s sophisticated commentary on Bruegel’s paintings contributes to a new history of early modern European mentalities.