A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, Volume 82

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The 14th century gives us back two contradictory images: on the one hand a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry and exquisitely illuminated Books of Hours; on the other, a time of ferocity and spiritual agony - a world plunged into chaos. These are the years when the Black Death struck in the great plague of 1348-50, killing more than a third of the entire population between India and Iceland, and returned four times during the rest of the century... when freebooting companies of brigands terrorized Europe with impunity... when a "hundred years' war" seemed to have no beginning and no end, and, defying the belligerents' own efforts to end it, acquired a life of its own, "an epic of brutality and bravery checkered by disgrace"... when chivalry, the ideal that had formed and nurtured the nobility, was crumbling under the impact of new weapons, new tactics, and knightly follies...

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User Review  - ElleGato - www.librarything.com

Though in some ways dated, this is still a highly informative and entertaining book about the 14th century in Europe. The book explores the catastrophes that befell 14th century Europe--mostly the ... Read full review

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User Review  - piquant00 - www.librarything.com

Eminently readable history of Europe in the high middle ages, with parallels to our "modern" sociopolitical problems. Read full review


The Swiss Campaign 137576
Double Allegiance

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About the author (1978)

Barbara W. Tuchman achieved prominence as a historian with "The Zimmermann Telegram "and international fame with "The Guns of August," which won the Pulitzer Prize. There followed five more books: "The Proud Tower," "Stilwell and the American Experience in China" (also awarded the Pulitzer Prize), "A Distant Mirror," "Practicing History," and "The March of Folly," "The First Salute" was Mrs. Tuchman's last book before her death in February 1989.

"From the Paperback edition.

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