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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  462 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Library Binding, 154 pages
Published January 28th 1968 by Harpercollins Juvenile Books (first published 1968)
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Curtis J. Correll
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
When I bought this title, I was thinking, "This will be good for me to learn; it might even be interesting at times." I was surprised to find the book never had any dull spots. I did learn so many interesting things that helped set a great backdrop for the roots of France and Germany, feudalism, the history of education, the Vikings, the Ottoman Empire's rise, and even the Norman invasion of England in subsequent centuries. That I was able to become so much more knowledgeable about a time and pe ...more
Vincent Wood
Sep 20, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a historical book centering around Charles the Great, King of the Franks or as he is better known today as Charlemagne, one of the more famous figures during Medieval times. This book covers the deeds in which his predecessors were known for on through his life from childhood to death and a bit of what his descendents are famous for.

The book does cover a lot of conjecture trying to give the author's best guess as to what may have occurred during certain times in his life or how Charlemag
Neil Pearson
Jul 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
I've been meaning to discover more about Charlemagne from some interesting teasers in general history. It may be a case of there not actually being that much information about him as an entire book dedicated to his life was rather dull. The author is one of those with a love for overly fancy language which is something I personally dislike as it feels that their intent is to sound clever rather than clear. There are moments of interest, usually when the author is disputing a popular theory. Howe ...more
Richard Booth
The author's book is set in Medieval Europe during the 8th century and a bit into the ninth. It is a very readable, understandable primer about the historical life of Charles, son of Pepin. Charles, called "the great," was a complex character, excelling in brutal warfare, excruciating punishments, and amazing empire-expansion together with sensibilities toward the arts and education, as well as land reform and feeding his people. He was particularly merciless toward the Lombards and Saxons and f ...more
Eileen Briesch
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Giant in medieval times

I confess I didn’t know much about Charlemagne when I picked up this book. But I am fascinated by everything after the fall of the Roman Empire. So I wanted to know more about the man who shaped so much of Europe back then. This book delivered.
The author’s conversational tone made the book easy to read. I found myself not wanting to put it down. He tells not only of Charlemagne’s triumphs but the cruel defeats; of his charities and his cruelties. The only thing the emperor
Sherry Sharpnack
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Charlemagne” is a little book (101 pages) about a man who casts a very big shadow across European history. I only knew that he was the original King of France (wrong!) and the first Holy Roman Emperor. I didn’t realize that he conquered so much territory to become the first HRE.

The history is told in a very breezy style, which really diminishes the horror one should feel when told that he slaughtered 4,500 Saxon lords to finally ends years of revolt in Saxony or the ambush of his army in Spain.
Steven Peterson
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fine biography of Charles the Great, Charlemagne, or Karl der Grosse. It amazes me how biographers can bring an historical figure to life--even when they lived over a thousand years ago.

Here, we see the growth of a young man, father to a king (Pepin). His rise to kingship. His family life--with a number of wives. The pain of losing wives.

The story of his rule over time. His military wins--and disappointments. In the process, he created a large kingdom and allied with the Pope to streng
Jim Manis
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Quick easy read about Charles the Great, a precursor to "the Renaissance man." Contemporaneous with the written composition of the Beowulf epic poem. Charlemagne was the last man to successfully unite Europe. He also convinced a Pope to crown him as Roman emperor after more than 300 years without one in the west. I couldn't help but think of "Game of Thrones" while reading this and by the end, "Vikings."
Philip Boudjouk
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlemagne by Winston

Written in an engaging manner, this book is perfect for the reader who wants a good first look at Charles the Great. The author wastes no time in taking the reader through the events that shaped the reign of the giant of the eighth century. He provides the essential facts, some background behind the outcomes and their impacts both contemporary and long term. The writing style is engaging making for a delightful read.
A good overview of the reign of Charlemagne. It is written in a style that is easy to follow. I would have liked the author to go into more detail on certain aspects of Charlemagne's life. The main drawback was that the author, at least in my opinion, failed to remain objective about his subject and allowed a sense of hero worship to enter the text. This led to some inconsitancies in the analysis of some of the aspects of Charlemagnes life.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Real Charles the Great

Charles the great, or Charlemagne, was one of the most influential rulers ever in Europe. Much of what he did have lasting effects on the entire world. This book takes a very objective look at Charlemagne's rule.
Phil Ellenberger
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Most are seat of Charles the ggrea,at least those who didn't sleep though their H history classes. However,this book should give the more than casual historian insights into Charles ,relious,and Carolina history. It did that to me.
Michael Swart
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good history

Many details about this interesting period and person. Bury why was his sainthood not mentioned? I would recommend this book to anyone interested in this period @ 800 and the first attempt to unify Europe
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
all I knew about Charlemagne was what I learned in tenth grade. I understand much better now why he was great. I had not known that he reconstituted so much of the old Roman Empire, from Denmark to Yugoslavia, for example. I am enlightened.
Douglas K Mosier
Great history

The best history of Charlemagne I have ever read. Comprehensive with great insight not only what he did but who he was.
Stuart Lynch
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing biography

It seems that he was forced to build an empire. Worth reading even if you are not interested in history.
Lynn Green
A very fast read that gives details on one of the biggest figures in the early Middle Ages.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Easy reading. Brief historical summary of Charlemagne's life and work.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read

I was able to learn in this enjoyable quick read the pictures at the end were lovely finish it up I was happy to see the map as well.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, but somewhat short

Great book, but I found myself asking questions that the book didn't answer in terms of greater details. All in all, a great book.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A brief history of Charlemagne that covers all the most important aspects of his life and rule as well as the Churches and schools or monasteries he had built.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Just the most simple review of the subject......a high school level read. Why more words are required to submit I can only guess.

Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
4 stars. A good overview of the life of Charlemagne. It was an easy read and well explained. I wish some chapters treated their topics with a bit more depth, but it is a fine book anyways.
David Potter
Introduction to a legend

For most of my life I have known of Charlemagne only as someone on the fringe of the things I am interested in,like calligraphy and history. So I had only the vaguest notion as to his place in European history. This short book gave me a welcome overview of his life and achievements. A good read.
Rosa DA
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Succinct, easy to read story about Charlemagne.
David Schwinghammer
Charlemagne (Charles the Great) was the grandson of Charles Martel, major domo to the Merovingian king, who defeated the Saracens at the Battle of Tours, stopping the spread of Islam in western Europe.

Charlemagne's father, Pepin, put an end to the feckless Merovingians and declared himself king of the Franks. When Pepin died, he left his kingdom to his two sons, Charles and Carloman. When Carloman died rather young, Charles became the sole king and began his conquest of western Europe. Author Ri
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Solid book on Charlemagne (ca. 742-814), who played such a big role in the early Middle Ages, and played a role in keeping (some) of the spirit of the Roman empire alive, promoting education and unifying significant parts of western Europe.

He also played a big role in the ecclesiastical history of Europe by legitimizing the Pope, as well as rooting out much of the remaining paganism (most infamously in the Massacre of Verden).

Of course, the book goes a bit beyond the above well-known facts, and
A well written history of a uniquely talented and intelligent leader of the 8th and early 9th Century. Charlemagne's enlightened leadership had a great impact on preserving classical knowledge. His emphasis on education, religion, arts, hygiene, and governance (at times harshly imposed) had profound effects on Europe. One wonders had he had one of his two worthy sons survived, whether his empire may have lasted long enough to resist the feudalism and reversals of the Middle Ages. We might have s ...more
I had this book on my audible device for over a year, starting it a few times but not able to get through the first chapter. I finally forced myself to listen through the whole thing, but really just skimmed.

I am interested in medieval history, and wanted to know more about this important figure. However, I found the reader difficult to keep focused on, and the narrative just did not flow. The book did get better as it went on - but I will only retain a broad outline of the times and the person
Apr 16, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: Ancient History Buffs
Probably one of the most definitive works on this European-defining personality.

Charlemagne was easily one of the most fascinating figures in Western civilization, as well as the most heroic and romantic. The 47 years of his reign marked some of the most significant and far reaching events of the Middle Ages. Undoubtedly, it was his enlightened vision for Europe that resulted in the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of cultural flowering that never really ceased to develop, and which led in a st
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