- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (20 Aug. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0304366951
- ISBN-13: 978-0304366958
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 346,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
By Sword and Fire: Cruelty And Atrocity In Medieval Warfare: The Savage Reality of Medieval Warfare (Cassell Military Paperbacks) Paperback – 20 Aug 2009
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More About the Author
Gory, but compelling reading (NORTHERN ECHO)
a much needed corrective to the view that chivalry definied medieval fighting (CONTEMPORARY REVIEW)
A vivid and original account of warfare in the Middle Ages and the cruelty and atrocity that accompanied it.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Sean did his homework for this book. He balance evidence with good storytelling. The very eccence of this book was that is was a story of how the ordinary people could get in the way of a looting army that could destroy their homes and livelyhoods. A book on how war was waged to achieve a final goal. Anyone who got in the way was free range. This was a spetacular book of war, famine, sword, and fire.
I loved this book and the way it was written. It was a good story of how war will destroy more than it creates. A wonderful book.
But that did not stop him from becoming one of the most famous kings of Europe, because such atrocities were not considered crimes in his day. He won his battles, according to medieval chronicles(and people) it meant that he had 'just cause'.
This book will give you a good, sometimes graphic explanation of why atrocities took place and why these were accepted as ligitimate actions. Those interested in the subject will also enjoy the first chapter which deals with crime and punishment in civilian life. The book is wellwritten and easily draws you into that world.
I will sound cruel now but it really is enjoyable to read.
To balance out the other side of the story i.e. why would knights who portray themselves as perfect examples of chivalry appear to commit such acts - I suggest reading around chivalry and its role in the middle ages - perhaps The Knight and Chivalry by Richard Barber would be a good start - and even some specific reading around histories of the Knights Templar, Knights Hospitaler and the Teutonic Knights. It's important to understand that while chivalry (and its concomitent rights and responsibilities, codes and literature) may have played little to no part in actual warfare, it was still, and for many valid reasons, a very important part of medieval culture, and remained relevant to large sections of society.
It's also important to realise that savagery, cruelty, atrocity, whatever you want to call it, was not absent from political or religious life outside warfare in medieval times (or any other time, for that matter).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are plenty of books on this subject - I wish I had chosen another.Published 17 months ago by Jeremy Lee
As I sat down to begin researching for my essay on Medieval and Early Modern violence this was the first book I opened. Read morePublished on 14 Aug. 2013 by A. Jones
Not as interesting as I expected and the writing is a bit flat. The cover and the title suggest more for my money.Published on 16 Feb. 2013 by L. Stribling
A lot of good information and interesting ideas but the parts didn't hang together as a whole for me. Read morePublished on 31 Jan. 2013 by BookBoy
it was a very hard read, and just read as a report.Very scholarly, good for students perhaps, but for me an ordinary pensioner reader i found it very dry.Published on 15 Jan. 2013 by duncan wright
I was somewhat disappointed with this book gin=ven the title.
I was expecting to sit down & read in graphic detail(for my sins)about all the savagery committed in this period... Read more
This book was interesting but not quite as fascinating as I had hoped. I believe some more illustrations etc would have helped.Published on 10 Oct. 2011 by rjames
McGlynn is convincing when he claims that contemporary medieval desciptions of wartime atrocities were fairly accurate rather than being grossly exaggerated. Read morePublished on 16 Jun. 2011 by Graham R. Hill
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