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Publisher's Summary

When the legendary Frankish king and emperor Charlemagne died in 814 he left behind a dominion and a legacy unlike anything seen in Western Europe since the fall of Rome. Johannes Fried paints a compelling portrait of a devout ruler, a violent time, and a unified kingdom that deepens our understanding of the man often called the father of Europe.
©2016 The President and Fellows of Harvard College (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"This is a magisterial study of the life and times of the Frankish king who became the first Holy Roman Emperor." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Doris on 01-19-18

I really wanted to enjoy this -

Charlemagne is one of the most fascinating and most important figures of the Middle Ages. I was hoping for some insight into his personality, a compelling story along the lines of Jack Weatherford's "Genghis Khan." This was not that book. It is exhaustive in detail, but I don't have any more of a mental or emotional picture of the man than I did before I read it. The book is so disorganized. It jumps back and forth in time, back to his father's actions, forward to his last days, back to his youth, with nothing to bind it to a coherent story. It has no flow and no personality. A better narrator might have done a bit more with it - Stewart is so very stilted - but even so, there is a limit to what even the best reader could do. I was so disappointed.

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18 of 21 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Richard Foulkes on 04-20-18

Charlemagne; A barbarian grows a conscience.

The arch of the life of Charlemagne is well worth a modern look as provided by this well documented tome. The author takes pains to inform you how difficult it is to look at a historical figure so deep in history and lore without significant proof that the stories and historical accounts are not reinterpretation for the benefit of the time that they are written. Nonetheless it is a fascinating arc of life that clearly shows a powerful man coming to terms with his conscience In a time of barbarism.
It is impossible not to view at least the fable of Charlemagne as not being a man who came to the renaissance before the world was ready. I highly recommend spending the time required to get to know my relative Charlemagne!
As I like to read or should I say listen via Audible the cadence of the reader provides an odd cadence that becomes a touch annoying at times. I do listen at 2.5 speed and at normal speed you may not find this to be the case. Good listening.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Golden girl on 03-30-18

Charlemagne

While the subject matter of this book was very interesting, I found it very difficult to get beyond chapter six. This was due to the narrator,who's sounded so uninterested in what he was reading. Sorry but I found his voice so monotone it was a great struggle to concentrate

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 12-01-17

Very heavy going

There seemed to be a great deal made of the fact that there was little verifiable evidence of Charlemagne‘s birth, life and life events. I found the content very dry.

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0 of 6 people found this review helpful

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