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4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: BERKLEY - US; Berkley Trade Pbk. Ed edition (2 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425215334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425215333
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 958,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Sharan Newman is a longtime member of the Medieval Academy, has served on the advisory board for the Medieval Association of the Pacific, and is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Barbara. Newman's medieval French mysteries have garnered Macavity, Agatha, and Anthony Award nominations, and she has won the Herodotus Award for Best Historical History.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A tip top exposition of the best bits in the story - presented in a more modern idiomatic way. I am old school and love it all - but Edith Simon is still "The Daddy" - if you know what I mean!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book wipes away the myth and leave the facts so you can draw your own conclusions. Nit it now!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 20 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharan writes so engagingly, even in her non-fiction 3 Aug. 2009
By Jane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many of Sharan Newman's historical novels and love her engaging style, vivid characters, and sturdily researched history. Still, I hesitated at buying a nonfiction work, worrying that it might be a bit to dully academic. Not to worry. Sharan Newman's nonfiction reads as engagingly as her fiction. She uses an interesting technique of addressing the various aspects of the subject in separate chapters, so you don't really follow a timeline (although she uses many aids for you to keep track of the sequence of events), but are allowed to view the subject from various viewpoints.

I love her statements in the beginning about her footnotes. She allows that they're necessary if readers want to check up on her facts or pursue further lines of inquiry. But she also suggests that if you're just reading her work for pleasure and your own edification, you can just trust her and zip through. How refreshing! I do admit to reading quite a few of the notes (the ones in languages I know, that is), but only because they fleshed out some point or other.

I had read - and enjoyed - Holy Blood Holy Grail (by Baigent, Leigh, & Lincoln) years ago, but didn't get caught up in the Da Vinci Code, because it stuck me it was covering pretty much the same material. Sharan Newman's book soundly tromps on both of those books without being overly negative. I'm so glad I read this book, because it enriches my reading of other novels placed around this time, such as Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest Series.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 7 July 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
love Templar history
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent and Very Readable History of A Very Complex Subject 13 Feb. 2008
By H. Fuller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What with The DaVinci Code and all, the poor old Templars have more fallacies spread around about them than just about any other group of which I can think. Ms. Newman does a wonderful job of describing the situation behind the founding, the life, and the death of the Poor Knights of Christ of the Temple of Solomon, the Templars. She takes a terribly complex subject and subdivides it into manageable portions with the inter-relationships denoted in bold-faced type. This makes her history accessible to a reasonably educated reader who may not have a degree in Medieval History. I found her work to be very accurate if, at times, a bit flip and very easy to follow.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing research of a much maligned subject 5 Oct. 2010
By Stephen St Clair - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These days, it seems like all that's available about the history of the Order of the Temple is the fantastical pseudo-histories of this group of poor knights.

Sharan Newman has really dug into every aspect of the myths, legends, and the facts of the Templars. From her first sentence "How does a legend begin?" she dissects all the overblown stories of this much-maligned group.

Her last chapter points our her heroism in wading into this minefield of revisionist history. The title - "How to tell if you're reading pseudohistory" really explains what a mess this area of history has become. The Templars existed; there is no doubt about that. But they've been totally hijacked by those who want to claim that they are around to this day, even on the U.S. One Dollar Bill.

The most remarkable part of her book is something that 99% of Templar "history" books leave out - FOOTNOTES !! It's simply amazing how many books get sold these days without footnotes. (I think we need a footnote rating on Amazon - The Footnote Police ;)

I've owned Newman's book for about 6 months and its pages are more worn than many books I've owned for 10 years.

I highly recommend this terrific book. You'll treat it more like a reference.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, witty and insightful 23 Mar. 2010
By Lesley West - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an excellent and very readable history of the Templars of both reality and legend,

Sharan has a straightforward and very entertaining narrative style, and while she is quite frank about the challenges of studying history, she also has a witty take on the times. For example, a favourite comment is that on the rules the Templars were to live by, and which were designed to distance women and all their temptations - "after a hard day of fighting Saracens, it might be difficult for a Knight of the Temple to remember that, while he could still pillage, rape was no longer an option". The footnotes are also entertaining, for example when discussing the gruesome delivery of a head to Baghdad, Sharan comments in a footnote "They were always sending heads to Baghdad or Cairo. Don't you wonder what they did with them all?" The book is littered with very 21st century takes on very different times.

It is very droll, hugely entertaining and informative for anyone interested in medieval history. Recommended!
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