A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

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A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

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This is very much the last century of the Middle Ages in which (to mix my metaphors appallingly) the birth cries of the modern world are virtually drowned out by the death rattle of the old one.

In the chapter entitled 'The Worms of the Earth Against the Lions' I was just about to cheer wholeheartedly for the weavers of Ghent until I read of the way they in turn oppressed the lower class fullers; and my sympathy was with commoners of Anjou demanding tax relief until "In a frenzy of triumph and unspent wrath, the people rushed to rob and assault the Jews, the one section of society upon whom the poor could safely vent their aggression. Earlier recurrences had affected chiefly children who had not acquired immunity, but in the fourth round a new adult generation fell under the swift contagion. In the evening minstrels played with lutes and harps, reed pipes, bagpipes, trumpets, kettle drums, and cymbals. Among the clergy there were those who became obsessed with witchcraft, demonology and heresy—fueling the fires of the Inquisition. A Distant Mirror also provides a sobering frame of reference for the events in our own recent history.This was a historical period that was deeply paradoxical and chaotic, in which famine, peasant revolts, foreign wars, the bubonic plague and religious struggles were all taking place in a non-stop succession amidst the existence and the proclamation of the high moral code of chivalry among the nobility, and where magic and superstition reigned inexplicably alongside one strict religious canon.

The only reason it didn't get 5 stars is that it sometimes goes off at a tangent, which as a novel would have been fine but can get confusing when following an historical timeline. The book opens with the description of the castle of Coucy in Picardy, northern France, a magnificent structure, which showcased the extent of the power of the clan of Coucy in the region in the 14 th century: “ the Coucy maintained a sense of eminence second to none and conducted their affairs after the usage of sovereign princes” [Barbara Tuchman, 1978: 14]. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century is a narrative history book by the American historian Barbara Tuchman, first published by Alfred A. As she explains in her early pages, she set herself to follow one particular character as he lived during a period in history when the actors were on the count of hundreds, and thereby keep one's focus and walk through the maze and the turmoil without getting lost.

Excelente retrato da França, Inglaterra e as relações/consequências com a igreja católica no final da idade média. I didn’t know very much about the 14th Century before I read this – although I did know enough to know that it was one of those ‘cusp’ centuries – where things that had stayed pretty much the same for a very long time were about to come up against innovations that would make their continuing virtually impossible. Edward claimed to be the rightful French King but his real goal was to add mainland provinces to his domain. On a personal note, my primary interests are literature and philosophy; I usually do not read history.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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