Re: [Authentic_SCA] Good books about the middle ages
- Hi, thanks for the information,
I guess I should have been more clear - I have quite a few specialty
books - on the history of art, painting, the Crusades, Cornwall, etc,
but I was really just looking for a general overview - much, like
perhaps, a college textbook on European history. Obviously, it is a
huge topic, but i have been feeling that while my knowledge of a few
select subjects is good, I don't have the best understanding of how
it fits into the historical context. So, I guess, some sort of
social/political history of the middle ages and renaissance would be
what I'm looking for.
I'll definitely check out the Duke's website!
> I'm looking for a good overview of middle ages/renaissance history.guess
> I have some books, but I don't know if they are reliable...so I
> what I'm asking is what are people's favorite history books?Hiya,
> Natasha Laity Snyder
As a history student (or I was before baby) I find this a tricky
question to answer. Unless you are looking for a "Medieval Europe for
Dummies" type book, (Not to say you are a dummy! Just that they are
good beginner/ overview books) you are embarking on a huge course of
study. I prefer books like "Polish way : a thousand-year history of the
Poles and their culture / Adam Zamoyski" which are social histories
rather than "this army won this war and this king got toppled by this
one." Of course to cover the whole of Europe, you'd be reading these
types of book for the rest of your life, so you are doomed to a sketchy
overview. If you were to read the "dummies" type books, you're still
getting a sketchy overview so I guess it depends which kind of sketchy
overview you want.
Anyway, most of my medieval reading (since I didn't study it at uni)
has been about England and Poland. The above mentioned was my favourite
Polish history book, though I'd recommend "Poland" by James Mitchener.
It is fiction, but very well researched. If you want to get a good feel
for their history rather than collect facts, it's a goodie. For my
England reading, I've mostly indulged in biographies. Antonia Fraser is
usually very good. I could also suggest you read histories of major
cities. It was a new idea to me at uni that you could study a city not
as a place, but as an entity. Then there are diseases. A nice leisurely
read through the bubonic plague is just what you need, I'm sure!
Rosie- who loves her baby, but misses her student days when she had a
brain and actually could read more than 3 pages of a book in a row!
Thanks for the good info - I've never read any Michener but my mom
LOVES him - just never got around to it I guess. How about Edward
Rutherford - of "London" and "Sarum" fame - I enjoyed those books -
are they reasonably historically accurate for fiction? Did he do his
Hmm, Medieval Europe for Dummies - sounds right up my alley!
1/4 of my family tree is from Poland, so that book sounds good to me!!
- Best book I've read for what you are looking for is Daily Life in
Medieval Times http://www.amazon.com/Daily-Life-Medieval-Times-
Its easy to read and quite informative. It doesn't get into the
renaissance period but is an excelent overview of what life was like in
medieval times. Its not so much about particular events and people in
history but about how the normal life for people was.