"The Middle Ages" Edited by Edwin S. Grosvenor

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The Middle Ages contains eleven essays covering salient topics from Europe’s so-called Middle Ages. This term comes from Petrarch, whose scheme held that history was divided into the Classical, the Middle, and current times (contemporaneous with Petrarch - the 14th Century). The eleven essays covering this 10 centuries:

1. The Barbarians, by Richard Winston
2. The Age of Charlemagne, by Régine Pernoud
3. Europe in the Year 1000, by Morris Bishop
4. When Moors Ruled Spain, by Gerald Brennan
5. When the Normans Invaded England, by Morris Bishop
6. The Byzantines, by Alfred Duggan
7. Richard and Saladin, by Alfred Duggan
8. The Knights Templar, by Morris Bishop
9. The Troubadours, by Frederic V. Grunfeld
10. Alfonso the Learned of Castile, by Frederic V. Grunfeld
11. The Black Death, by Philip Ziegler

I list the essays this way to give the reader exactly what the volume offers. This is not a comprehensive survey of this long, significant period in the West. It is a series of essays that combine some historical high points with certain nuggets of interest which sometimes border on gossip. They are useful in their way, but for a rigorous history or histories, I would direct readers elsewhere. If your grounding in Europe’s Middle Ages is relatively strong, this compendium might provide interesting color for certain events or trends. It was a diverting day-and-a-half for me.

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