The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars, 1290-1329 Hardcover – 2 Nov 2000
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"There can be fewer better guides than this beautiful book, which lets an almost forgotten people, even through the filter of time and the Inquisition, speak for themselves." --"The Washington Post Book World" "In a feat of inspired scholarship, Weis transports us back to that world, conveying all of the high drama of ecclesiastical interrogations, covert ceremonies, and fiery martyrdom. . . . A book that will long haunt its readers."--"Booklist""This book reanimates the real world of the Cathars of seven hundred years ago in a way that is fresh, utterly modern, and pulsates with life."-Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, author of "Montaillou""""It succeeds enthrallingly . . . a moving evocation of an almost inconceivable faith."--"The Times" (London) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
Praise for 'The Yellow Cross' by Rene Weis:
Refreshing and stimulating the best account of the reality of Catharism we are likely to get in a very long time The Times Literary Supplement
Brilliantly reconstructs the personal machinations and sexual intrigues by which the Cathars took over Montaillou, before falling victim to the Inquisition Sunday Times, Books of the Year
A story with a powerful modern resonance, a story of treachery, betrayal, passion, greed, and heroism my book of the year Christopher Bland, Sunday Telegraph
Utterly absorbing Daily Telegraph
In an utterly modern way, and with the freshness and vibrancy of real life, this book recaptures the Cathar experience in Languedoc 700 years ago Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, author of Montaillou
As a history of a ruthless extirpation, it succeeds enthrallingly The TimesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Much rubbish has been written about the Cathars in the past few years - read this, and discover just what an insult this is to the memory of the last "Parfaites" of Europe.
The people are a broad range from good, honest and religious, to rogues and bullies, rapists and murderers. I would imagine that any area such as Montaillou, particularly in medieval times, would have had such a mix of characters and personalities. But these people also lived on the edge (or over it) of religious conformity and suffered the dread of being found by the Inquisition. The way of life, and the life these people lived, is of necessity fascinating to anyone interested in medieval history - the fact that these people live on in writings still available to us today is because of their religious beliefs which were captured by those not sympathetic to their religion or their way of life. The terror of being found; the horror of a death by public burning; would many people today be able to live like that?
I admit to getting totally lost in the chapter about the people of Montaillou - so many families, so inter-related and inter-married, and so many with similar names.Read more ›
Cathar religion is not the focus of this history, but elements of Cathar thought and practice are unavoidably present. The pluses and minuses of being a Cathar are presented, at least for the residents of Montaillou. Despite the asceticim of Cathar spiritual leaders, the sexual promiscuity of some Cathars is not glossed over.
Sadly, in this case, the reason for the Inquistions interest in Montaillou seems to have been, not primarily their religious difference but the reluctance of people in that area to pay the Church's taxes.
I read this book in 3 days, but I took a break after every 2 chapters or so because following all the detail challenged my focus. The amount of detail Weis was able to assemble is staggering. To his credit, he kept the story flowing. I've never read history at this fine a granularity. I never before was aware what life in medieval Europe might be like.
Weis seems superhuman. How he assimilated so many facts and presented it so clearly and vividly is far beyond my understanding. A work of this quality and power seem to me very rare [Another book on Montaillou, by Ladurie, may be even more detailed, enough to perhaps be of interest only to academicians, but apparently makes a heavily pro-Church interpretation]. Even if the Cathars are not your interest, I'd recommend this book for its extraordinary presentation of life in a medieval village. I've never before felt this connected to people of the Middle Ages: I'm very impressed by them
and links but then totally absorbing. I personally needed a good English dictionary to help me understand some of the text (but then I'm no intellectual) But what impressed me about the author was his total absorbtion into the day-to-day lives of these people: their loves, sexual preferences, hardship and
determination. I felt as if I've traversed those mountain passes and valleys of Pierre Maury and will now, of course,
hve to visit the area. Stay with this, its detail is so important to understnd the devastation of the final outcome.
Thank you Rene Weis !!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was reasonably easy to read and I found the information I wanted within.Published 11 months ago by SheenaM
Excellent. Arrived exactly at the time advised. Very good condition. Very happy.Published 19 months ago by Sylvia Davey
This book was much too detailed for me. Each sentence introduces a new character or unfamiliar term and this quickly becomes rather boring. Read morePublished on 26 Nov. 2013 by PauloMunich
I have to admit that after 100 pages or so I was tempted to abandon this book. If I hadn't been on an overseas trip with limited other reading material to hand I might have... Read morePublished on 8 Aug. 2011 by Jasper Tamespeke
An interesting book, describing the people and their history in the 13th/14th century in south west of France, in a rather unusual style of writing. Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2011 by S. S. Baig
Very impressive book that actually physically pushes you into Occitantia in the 13th/14th centuries. Read morePublished on 9 April 2007 by M. Notman
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