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Early Medieval Europe, 300 1000 (Palgrave History of Europe)

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  75 ratings  ·  8 reviews
This book offers a fascinating account of Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire through to the end of the tenth century. In its wide-ranging coverage of the period, it takes into account social, economic and political changes as well as the important cultural changes, including the rise of Islam and the recreation of a western empire under the Cardingians.

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Paperback, 2nd ed., 560 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by MacMillan (first published April 23rd 1991)
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A huge subject covered in a densely written book which still only manages to cover most things fairly shallowly.
But it’s a general Hx, so it does what it sets out to do I suppose, giving a broad picture over a 700 year span. At times written in a very academic style, occasionally paragraphs that in essence are just lists of who did what to who with little context. I think as a course text book this would work, but tricky at times for a general reader.
One thing that really lets it down is the lac
It took me about a year to read this, I think. It is quite dry and poorly written (with many sentences containing numerous embedded clauses. A nightmare to untangle). However, I am glad I read it because I knew next to nothing about medieval europe before reading this book, and now I feel better prepared to find a better, more interesting book about the subject (this book is on loan- thanks Ben Anderson!) At the ends of the chapters there was usually a pretty interesting conclusion where the aut ...more
I would call this a so-so book on the topic. It covers some of the basics and relates lots of facts but misses on themes. It spends much time telling what is wrong with the existing information but adds little beyond that. I do understand the author is trying to cover a vast amount of time and geography and he does a good job of that, but again he leaves out so much that would help explain events. For example, he mentions the Morrish rulers of Cordoba but never really gives an idea of what happe ...more
This is meant as a serious classroom textbook overview on a very broad subject. Seven centuries of history are not easy to pack into a book of any size, but it is done very well here.

It is necessarily an overview, but Collins does a very good job presenting the main themes and giving a basic understanding of the sources and (conflicting) theories surrounding a very hard to study period in history. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who would like to get a basic grasp of the period between
When I was younger I had a pretty high tolerance for textbooks and actively enjoyed reading many of them.
Not so Roger Collins' Early Medieval Europe: it stood out as being particularly dry and dull. Which it really, really shouldn't be considering the period it covers.
Fantastic, if a little dry. Never have I been able to get such a wealth of information on the early Church much less the various barbarians in proto-Europe. A must read for one interested in this field of history.
Nick Wallace
Interesting developments here and there, but very tedious. Much like early medieval Europe.
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Roger J. H. Collins (born 1949) is an English medievalist, currently an honorary fellow in history at the University of Edinburgh.
More about Roger Collins...

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