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France in the Middle Ages, 987-1460: From Hugh Capet to Joan of Arc (History of France) Paperback – 28 Oct 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; New Ed edition (28 Oct. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631189459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631189459
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 2.9 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Superb ... a great historian offers a fresh interpretation of one of the formative periods of French history." L′Histoire

"Superb ... a pleasure to read ... an invaluable work of history and reference" La Voix du Nord

"Duby has already changed our conception of medieval Europe. Extensively illustrated, with clear and helpful genealogical tables, this is a boldly written book, impeccably translated by Juliet Vale, that will stimulate discussion among specialists and non=specialists alike." The Jerusalem Post

From the Back Cover

Georges Duby has changed our conception of medieval Europe, particularly our about the meaning and operation of ′feudal society′. In this book, now available in paperback, he examines the history of France from the rise of the Capetians in the mid–tenth century to the execution of Joan of Arc in the mid–fifteenth. He takes the evolution of power and the emergence of the French state as his central themes, and guides the reader through complex – and, in many respects, still unfamiliar, yet fascinating terrain. He describes the growth of the castle and the village, the building blocks of the new Western European civilization of the second millenium AD. In so doing, he reintroduces the cast of characters that he has made famous: the youths, the priests and the ladies.

Figures monumental in English history, such as William the Conqueror and Henry I, appear afresh in their contemporary context, dangerous and vulnerable. In place of Hastings, Duby offers the battle of the Bouvines (1214) as a decisive turning–point. It marks the successful construction of the French monarchy, which in turn represents a transformation in the exercise of power.

Extensively illustrated, and containing many clear and helpful maps and geneaological tables, this book will be of wide interest, and will stimulate discussion among specialists and non–specialists alike.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arrived quickly and as described.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Narrative that is Reasoned, Researched, and Candid 9 Oct. 2014
By Matthew Totlis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally found a copy of this title sitting on my Great Aunt's bookshelf. She harbored a deep love for medieval history, especially in France. I was just looking for something to read. But what I found in this book, and in the entire five volume "History of France from 987 -1987", was a meticulously researched and easily readable narrative. Written in French for a French audience, the author maintains a reasoned and neutrally critical style in the history he is presenting. The trajectory of the entire series is to explain how the French State developed from its early times. What the reader sees is development of French power, whether it be Royal, economic, religious, or popular, and how these interact and change through the course of the middle ages. This is not a title on French economy, although economics is an important vein of though in the book. Neither is it a book on French Catholicism, nor Royal Power, nor popular revolt, but it ties all these topics together and strives to present to the reader who had power and influence, how was it used, and how did its use contribute the development of the French State.

As for the entire series, each title flows seamlessly into the next, yet does not require the reader to have poured through the previous titles to grasp the contents of the current one.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Insights from an Important French Historian 6 Feb. 2008
By thorsprincess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This volume by Georges Duby (1919-1996), distinguished professor emeritus of the Collège de France, was written about ten years before his death. It is an excellent resource and a good introduction to French medieval history for the serious student of French history. His argument is especially strong in connecting the evolving French political, economic, and intellectual movements to counter-developments in historic events and thought. It is part of a larger series on French history that was commissioned to celebrate the Millennium, and his section, despite its title, is a short introduction that introduces his real expertise in the eleventh through thirteenth centuries, with a short wrap-up of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The choice of Joan of Arc to represent the fifteenth century is meant to connect to the next volume (written by Leroy Ladurie) and to demonstrate the continuing romantic influence of the symbolism of the Middle Ages--especially through adaptation of sacred symbols to modern and secular movements and national allegiance. Duby's historical narrative voice is lively, engaging, intelligent, humble, and authoritative. I like his voice, so I enjoyed the book. Overall, the book is one which would stimulate discussion and cause serious students to want to inquire further, while providing excellent insights from an important French historian.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 23 Jun. 2017
By robert sklenar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Met my expectations
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars its okay 17 April 2013
By Swiftbird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking for some college level texts on the history of France so that is why I purchased this text. It has some good information but is not as in depth as I would have liked.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid and Focused Survey 25 Oct. 2014
By R. Albin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This well written and interesting book is essentially narrative and analysis of the development of the French monarchy under the Capetian kings. This is not a general survey of medieval French history. DUby does describe other developments such as economic expansion and some intellectual developments, but mainly in the context of how these changes impacted the emergence of a relatively powerful monarchy. Duby opens with a description of the Frankish monarchy on the eve of Capetian accession to power, stressing the fragmented limited nature of royal power, the importance of the Carolingian inheritence, and the crucial role of the church. The following narrative describes the gradual accumulation of power by a succession of Capetian kings, several of them clearly very competent rulers. Important themes are the construction of a relatively powerful feudal state, increasing professionalization of the royal bureaucracy, the strong relationship of the French monarchy and the Church with the latter increasingly become a partial adjunct of the Crown, and to some extent, good luck in terms of dynastic succession. Duby is particularly good on the role of the Church, the emerging power of the Papacy, and the sacral role of the monarchy. Also interesting is Duby's discussion of the heterogeneity of what became France, particularly the distinctive society of the South.
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