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'a pleasant, erudite jumble of politics, military history, potted biography and cultural study ... It is an intelligent and attractive guide to Europe's middle ages, quite satisfactory to the specialist, but just as accessible to a precocious teenager' Spectator.
Few periods in history evoke such a vivid sense of wonder and mystery as the Middle Ages. A time of knights, castles, monks and crusaders, it is a lost world that has captured the imagination of generations of scholars, poets and filmmakers. This fresh history brings the medieval age vividly and unforgettably to life. The five hundred years that separate the mid-tenth century from the mid-fifteenth century constitute a critical and formative period in the history of Europe. This was the age of the system of legal and military obligation known as 'feudalism', and of the birth and consolidation of powerful kingdoms in England, France and Spain; it was an era of urbanization and the expansion of trade, of the building of the great Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals, of courtly romance and the art of the troubadour, and of the founding of celebrated seats of learning in Paris, Oxford and Bologna. But it was also an age characterised by brutal military adventure in the launching of armed pilgrimages to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim control, by the savage dynastic conflict of the Hundred Years' War and by the devastating pandemic of the Black Death. Broad in scope, detailed and impressively accessible, The Age of Chivalry also boasts an impressive array of beautiful and informative images, maps and timelines. Distinguished historian Hywel Williams sheds revelatory light on every aspect of a rich and endlessly fascinating period of European history.See all Product Description