A Distant Mirror

  • by Barbara Tuchman
  • Narrated by Aviva Skell
  • 26 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Bubonic Plague of the 14th century killed one third of all human beings in Europe and Western Asia; many who survived the plague killed each other in the Hundred Years War that followed. What was it like to live in this calamitous century, when knighthood (and much more) died a violent death? Find out.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A classic history

I really enjoy Barbara Tuchman's work. To listen is to be immersed in14th century Europe, where knights are bold, vicious, arrogant, conniving, sometimes not very bright, and very dangerous. The church is all about power and control, holding souls hostage to a harsh God, ransoming them for material gain. Villages are wiped off the map by the Black Death in a matter of weeks. Riveting!

But, I can't wholeheartedly recommend this performance. The reader does a reasonable job, but her pace is not mine. A slower, slightly more relaxed reading would make this book even more engrossing. I must say that I've enjoyed this title in spite of the narrator, she reads just a little too fast for me. If I were to recommend this book, I'd recommend a version by a different narrator.
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- Joshua

A Favorite

What did you love best about A Distant Mirror?

Impressive detail from diverse sections of 14th century society gives the book wonderful perspective.


What was one of the most memorable moments of A Distant Mirror?

The historical geographic view of the Black Death is fascinating.


What does Aviva Skell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She certainly can pronounce the French names much better than I.


Any additional comments?

This book, which won an additional Pulitzer for Tuchman, is history at its very best. I have read this book before, but was delighted to find that even in the audio version it was just as difficult to put down (or pause). Good books about the early Middle Ages in Europe are hard to find; but even though this may be the best title on the subject, this is still a great book no matter the reader's favorite genre.

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- JSK

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-24-2012
  • Publisher: Recorded Books