The millennium between the breakup of the western Roman Empire and the Reformation was a long and hugely transformative period - one not easily chronicled within a single volume. Yet distinguished historian Chris Wickham has taken up the challenge in this landmark book, and he succeeds in producing the most riveting account of medieval Europe in a generation.
Tracking the entire sweep of the Middle Ages across Europe, Wickham focuses on important changes century by century, including such pivotal crises and moments as the fall of the western Roman Empire, Charlemagne's reforms, the feudal revolution, the challenge of heresy, the destruction of the Byzantine Empire, the rebuilding of late medieval states, and the appalling devastation of the Black Death. He provides illuminating vignettes that underscore how shifting social, economic, and political circumstances affected individual lives and international events. Wickham offers both a new conception of Europe's medieval period and a provocative revision of exactly how and why the Middle Ages matter.
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interesting but dry
- Nicholas A Burton
Less dates and places thrown at you at high speed, more linear story line. I know history isn't fiction, but still - one can make it more interesting than dates and places... Felt like I was back in a college history class where the prof just droned on ad on with nothing of import.
'Story'? There was no story. Just dates and places, sprinkled with an occasionally interesting bit. I wanted to know what life was like, what they wore, what they ate, how they obtained it, what their worries were, how they coped with them, gentry and religious issues, and so on. The author just glanced over that and went back to his dates and places. I couldn't take more than half of chapter two.
The reader was excellent- he had a fine tonal quality and speech pattern and read the droll, boring material as best he could.
Disappointment. I expected better than this droll regurgitation of the thousand other books written on this material.
Returning this one...
- Can't Talk - Listening