Sunday, 3 July 2011

Book Notes: "Europe in the Central Middle Ages, 962-1154" by Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke

Europe in the Central Middle Ages, 962-1154 (General History of Europe)Europe in the Central Middle Ages, 962-1154 by Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a hard read, but well worth the effort. I'd be particularly interested to see if there were major differences in style between the 1964 edition (the edition I read) and later re-writes. It was helpful to be reading the story of Saladin at the same time, at least to learn about the later parts of the period from a variety of perspectives. It would be useful for non-Europeans to have an atlas at hand, especially to identify the historical areas outlined. I'd recommend having a general understanding of the period before reading the book; otherwise, much of the detail will be lost on the novice reader. As for the book itself, it lost its coherent thread once the period of the crusades was entered: I am still not sure why the period selected focused so heavily on religious practice, as this was clearly not representative of the title. Nonetheless, well worth the effort to really round-out my understanding of the period, especially the detailed bibliographical notes provided at the beginning of each chapter. Not for the faint-hearted, but I really enjoy finding random old books, reading them, and then discovering they are classic in their field.

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