"Catharism was the most radical of medieval heresies. Since it touched most areas of Europe in some degree, research on its character and fortunes makes formidable demands on the learning and linguistic ability of any scholar who tackles it, not to mention demands also on his judgement. Malcolm Lambert, well known for his lucid and authoritative writings on medieval heresy, is a match for this challenging task. His new book, The Cathars
, is to be welcomed as the most comprehensive and up–to–date treatment of the subject now available in English." Alexander Murray, University College, London
<!––end––>"Lambert′s command of the literature and his ability to integrate it into a coherent narrative are unmatched. His book deserves to become the standard account of medieval Catharism." Medieval Review
"This is the first comprehensive study in English of the most mysterious and radical of medieval heresies. Malcolm Lambert ... ′combines scholarly investigation with lucid narrative.′" TD Book Survey
"Malcolm Lambert, with deep erudition allied to pristine sensitive prose, masterfully narrates [the] distinctive history [of] the cathars ... The Cathars ... is, quite simply, indispensible." Catholic Historical Review
From the Back Cover
This is the first comprehensive account in English of the most feared and the most mysterious of medieval heretics. A crusade was launched to uproot them in the south of France, the Inquisition was developed to suppress them, and St Dominic founded his friars to preach against them. Their history and that of the medieval Church are inextricably mingled.
This book puts the Cathars back into the context where they belong – that of medieval Catholicism. It studies the rise and fall of the heresy from the twelfth–century Rhineland to fifteenth–century Bosnia and the Church′s counteraction, peaceful and violent. Within the exposition, Italian Cathars are given their rightful place, a chapter is devoted to the puzzle of the Bosnian Church, and perspective is given to Le Roy Ladurie′s brilliant but wayward Montaillou. A final survey assesses the legacy of a heresy which still exerts its strange fascination.
This book combines scholarly investigation with lucid narrative. It is, in short, historical writing at its best and likely to become the definitive account of a subject of enduring interest and importance.