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4.5 out of 5 stars21
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 28 July 2008
Life in the Middle Ages. A fascinating account of ordinary life. While reading, one discovers just how many assumptions one has regarding life in the Middle Ages. Sometimes, it might get a bit dry, but on the whole both enriching and entertaining.
For those not familiair with the Annales-school in history, it will be an eye-opener.
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VINE VOICEon 1 February 2012
It is some time since I read this as background reading for my history degree course, and it stands out as the most interesting, fascinating, un-put-downable of all the books on the reading list. Despite the fact that we are reading about people who lived over many centuries ago, they come utterly to life and become completely real to the reader.

I recently tried reading Rene Weis's book on the same subject, The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars which suffers greatly by comparison. It made me recall how much I enjoyed Montaillou which I shall return to for a better picture of this fascinating era.
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on 29 September 2010
This book has been around for quite a long time now - it's a serious work, no pot-boiler - and has become a modern classic of its type, which can be classified, for the layman, as 'local history'. Essential reading for anyone seriously interested in the Cathars.
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on 21 May 2014
This is a series of abstracts from the records of the inquisition in the investigation of the Cathar heresy in the Pyrenees on what is now the French/Spanish border. Cathars believed in a direct relationship between the individual and god, and were therefore not popular with the established catholic church which sought to mediate that relationship. In fact this series of accounts of family relationships and feuds, clandestine worship and rural life seems to suggest that the Cathar beliefs were well suited to the rugged, bloody-minded isolated rural communities where they thrived. The account of Montaillou gives some insight into this way of life, and although some of the family relationships are a bit hard to follow, it can be a bit like village gossip about someone's niece who marries the brother of X the shepherd in the next village, the overall picture of rural life over seven hundred years ago is fascinating.
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on 18 November 2000
This book tells the story of the 14th century villagers and peasants of Montaillou. It chronicles their everyday lives, its importance is far greater than the story of the Cathar heresy, it is the story of the kind of people that are usually forgotten to history.
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on 23 February 2014
This book is a 'must.' It should be read together with 'God's Jury - The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World,' and with 'A history of the Inquisition of the Middle ages Henry Charles Lea,' 3 volumes. The last can be downloaded free from[...]
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on 16 January 2012
Well written and thoroughly investigated. This book really made catharism come alive for me. If you are interested in this long gone religion and history then you will find this book enjoyable and informative
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on 25 December 2013
This is a great read. Transcripts of 'confessions' made by the inhabitants of a medieval village and taken down by the Inquisition makes for a gripping tale of double dealing and often unshakable belief on both sides. The insight into the habits of everyday life is just incredible.
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on 18 November 2013
excellent read, well written, this is an indepth history of the feudel systm and how people lived, taking you a day basis of the time.this is the facts of how people lived. hard times excellent history.
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on 31 August 2015
Very interesting insight into 13th C life. Pity it is not better written and less repetitive. It was a struggle to get through it to find out what I wanted to know.
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