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Thread: Best books for the period?

  1. #21
    Moderator Moderator AndrewT's Avatar
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    The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet. Dodgy writing but brilliant evocation of the time, and especially social and engineering detail.
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  2. #22
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    Robert Bartlett, The Making of Europe.

  3. #23
    The Accursed Kings of Maurice Druon. Very good books.

    For George Martin fan: you must know that books giving the idea of A Song of Ice and Fire unless it's historical and not fantastic.

  4. #24
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    I am a fan of Thomas Cahill, so I would recommend Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe (2006). He covers a lot of ground, but I find the chapters on Francis Bacon and the Franciscan-Dominican controversy the best. Like his other work (cf How the Irish Saved Civilization), this one has a rather political purpose: revealing to 21st century Catholics the medieval heritage that has been lost amid imperialistic papal politics, most notably in his chapter on Dante explaining just why Pope Boniface VIII is in the depths of Hell in Inferno. The same chapter details the Guelph-Ghibelline conflict that led Dante into exile in Ravenna.

    I am currently reading Aristotle's Children by Richard E. Rubenstein. There is a good discussion of the transition from Late Antiquity to medieval times in the Mediterranean and for our period some interesting stuff on how classical learning was rediscovered. If you want to understand the intellectual impact of rediscovering Aristotle in Spain and the role of the Church in disseminating knowledge, this might be a good book for you. Like Cahill, there's plenty of side stories to keep you entertained and of course draw on for your own CK2 mods.
    Last edited by RedRooster81; 23-03-2012 at 14:47.

  6. #26
    There are FOUR LIGHTS! AllThat4Nothing's Avatar
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  7. #27
    I'm reading The Medieval Village by G.G. Coulton, only started it so I can't tell how good it is, but it's a very heavy read. Will check out some of the books mentioned here, thanks

  8. #28
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    If you want to read about The Crusades seen from both sides, I can recommend "The Crusades" by Thomas Ashbrigde. It is about how it all started to the end of the Crusader States.
    Also some about the Popes and their motivation for launching a crusade.

  9. #29
    To understand Feudal society at this time, namely English Feudal society, read William Marshall.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyraz View Post
    If you want to read about The Crusades seen from both sides, I can recommend "The Crusades" by Thomas Ashbrigde. It is about how it all started to the end of the Crusader States.
    Also some about the Popes and their motivation for launching a crusade.
    +1 really a good read.

    his other book The First Crusade goes even deeper into the subject of well...1st crusade . brings characters like Bohemund and Raymond of Toulouse really to life

  11. #31
    1066 The Hidden History in The Bayeux Tapestry by Andrew Bidgeford is a good read on the Norman Conquest of England. The thesis is that the tapestry is actual a Saxon recounting of the conflict not Norman. Lots of interesting information on the invasion and some about William Rufus, the son William gave the crown to when he died and left at the start heir Robert Courthouse the Duchy of Normandy. To recreate this you have to make William powerful, choose elective law and give Courthouse the Duchy of Normandy before you die as well as choose William as your vote for heir. There is good info on Odo and Eustace of Boulgone as well. There is also a little about the De Hautvilles and the conquest of Silicy but not a lot. Mostly in reference to some source work and how some historians may have gotten when it was written wrong.

  12. #32
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    Just started God's War: a new history of the Crusades. by Christopher Tyerman It covers pretty much the entire period and has chapters on the Reconquista, the Albigenisian Crusade against the Cathars, and the Baltic Crusades.

  13. #33
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    Since you already have a Masters I'm sure you'd be able to look at some primary sources too. Try the Song of Roland, I read it for a crusades course and loved it. While it takes place much earlier it says a lot about the period it was written. Another is the Song of the Cid, started it two months ago and got distracted (blast you CK II!). I enjoyed reading Papal/HRE Bulls of period for the same course as well. If you look up the Maciejowski Bible the images there are absolutely wonderful.
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  14. #34
    Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror. A great history of the 100 Years War told from the perspective of an important baron (De Coucy, which if you notice is indeed a barony in the Paris county in the game).

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimwinsor View Post
    Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror. A great history of the 100 Years War told from the perspective of an important baron (De Coucy, which if you notice is indeed a barony in the Paris county in the game).
    It is in the Vermandois-county actually

    A good book about the Baltic Crusades is: Eric Christiansen with 'The Northern Crusades'.

  16. #36
    Ooops yeah!

    Quote Originally Posted by Veldmaarschalk View Post
    It is in the Vermandois-county actually

    A good book about the Baltic Crusades is: Eric Christiansen with 'The Northern Crusades'.

  17. #37
    Books on medieval topics I have in my collection:

    John Julius Norwich - Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy
    Juliet R.V. Barker - Agincourt: Henry v and the Battle That Made England
    Winston S. Chruchill & Michael Frassetto -The Birth of Britain
    Frances Gies & Joseph Gies - Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages
    Barbara W. Tuchman - A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
    Jack Weatherford - Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
    James Hannam - Godís Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science
    Simon Sebag Montefiore - Jerusalem: The Biography
    Frances Gies & Joseph Gies - Life in a Medieval City
    Frances Gies & Joseph Gies - Life in a Medieval Village
    LArs Brownworth - Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization
    Desmond Seward - The Hundred Years War

    Obviously its not 100% centered around the CKII period. But who cares, good books.
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  18. #38
    For historical novels, a couple of Bernard Cornwell's books were of this time period, and he's a very fun writer to read.

  19. #39
    Audiobooks > books

    I play audiobooks (from www.audible.com) whilst I am playing the game!

    Go to www.audible.com and search "crusades" and "medieval", there is a nice selection. Some of the titles named in this thread are offered as audiobook versions. Its so much easier to listen than to read.

  20. #40
    Modding Paladin RedRooster81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooner View Post
    For historical novels, a couple of Bernard Cornwell's books were of this time period, and he's a very fun writer to read.
    He's got the Agincourt book. It's got some good stuff on a baron's court (from the perp's point of view ) and the HYW.

    No one's mentioned Ellis Peters yet? My mod that will cover the Cluniac Order is biased by my time with Brother Cadfael.

    Robin Young's series on the Crusades is rather good (but fictional), with a lot of stuff equally on the Templars and KoJ and the Mamelukes. She started a series on the Scottish wars of independence but I have yet to read those.

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