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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 31, 2019 06:19PM) (new)

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This thread discussed the Late Middle Ages.

"The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th and 15th centuries (c. 1301–1500). The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era (and, in much of Europe, the Renaissance).

Around 1300, centuries of prosperity and growth in Europe came to a halt. A series of famines and plagues, such as the Great Famine of 1315–1317 and the Black Death, reduced the population to around half of what it was before the calamities.

Along with depopulation came social unrest and endemic warfare. France and England experienced serious peasant uprisings: the Jacquerie, the Peasants' Revolt, as well as over a century of intermittent conflict in the Hundred Years' War.

To add to the many problems of the period, the unity of the Catholic Church was shattered by the Western Schism. Collectively these events are sometimes called the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages.

Despite these crises, the 14th century was also a time of great progress within the arts and sciences.

Following a renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman texts that took root in the High Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance began. The absorption of Latin texts had started before the Renaissance of the 12th century through contact with Arabs during the Crusades, but the availability of important Greek texts accelerated with the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks, when many Byzantine scholars had to seek refuge in the West, particularly Italy.

Combined with this influx of classical ideas was the invention of printing which facilitated dissemination of the printed word and democratized learning.

These two things would later lead to the Protestant Reformation. Toward the end of the period, an era of discovery began (Age of Discovery). The growth of the Ottoman Empire, culminating in the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, eroded the last remnants of the Byzantine Empire and cut off trading possibilities with the east.

Europeans were forced to discover new trading routes, as was the case with Columbus’s travel to the Americas in 1492, and Vasco da Gama’s circumnavigation of India and Africa in 1498. Their discoveries strengthened the economy and power of European nations.

The changes brought about by these developments have caused many scholars to see it as leading to the end of the Middle Ages, and the beginning of modern history and early modern Europe. However, the division will always be a somewhat artificial one for scholars, since ancient learning was never entirely absent from European society. As such there was developmental continuity between the ancient age (via classical antiquity) and the modern age. Some historians, particularly in Italy, prefer not to speak of late Middle Ages at all, but rather see the high period of the Middle Ages transitioning to the Renaissance and the modern era.

Source: Wikipedia -

Topics Include:

1 Historiography and periodization

2 History
2.1 Northern Europe
2.2 Northwest Europe
2.3 Western Europe
2.4 Central Europe
2.5 Eastern Europe
2.6 Southeast Europe
2.7 Southwest Europe

3 Late Medieval European society

4 Military history

5 Christian conflict and reform
5.1 The Papal Schism
5.2 Protestant Reformation

6 Trade and commerce

7 Arts and sciences
7.1 Philosophy, science and technology
7.2 Visual arts and architecture
7.3 Literature
7.4 Music
7.5 Theatre
7.6 After the Middle Ages

8 Ottomans and Europe

Also Included:

Hundred Years' War 
Wars of the Roses
Hussite Wars
House of Habsburg
Western Schism
Fall of Constantinople
Rise of the Ottoman
Empire Swiss mercenaries
Renaissance Humanism
Crisis of the Late Middle Ages
Little Ice Age

Please make sure when adding books that you are recommending that you add both the book's cover and the photo or link to the author. This helps populate the site properly.

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Nov 28, 2014 05:52PM) (new)

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Handbook of European History 1400 - 1600: Late Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, Volume I Structures and Assertions

Handbook of European History 1400-1600 Late Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, Volume 1 Structures and Assertions by James D. Tracy by James D. Tracy


The "Handbook of European History 1400-1600 brings together the best scholarship into an array of topical chapters that present current knowledge and thinking in ways useful to the specialist and accessible to students and to the educated non-specialist.

Forty-one leading scholars in this field of history present the state of knowledge about the grand themes, main controversies and fruitful directions for research of European history in this era. Volume 1 ("Structures and Assertions) described the people, lands, religions and political structures which define the setting for this historical period. Volume 2 ("Visions, Programs, Outcomes) covers the early stages of the process by which newly established confessional structures began to work their way among the populace.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer by Ian Mortimer Ian Mortimer


The past is a foreign country. This is your guidebook. Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guest house? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? This radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. It shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. It sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you, the reader, to the middle ages, and showing you everything from the horrors of leprosy and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and haute couture.Being a guidebook, many questions are answered which do not normally occur in traditional history books. How do you greet people in the street? What should you use for toilet paper? How fast - and how safely - can you travel? Why might a physician want to taste your blood? And how do you test to see if you are going down with the plague? The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: revolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail, and startling for its portrayal of humanity in an age of violence, exuberance and fear.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time

The Great Mortality An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time by John Kelly by John Kelly (no photo)


La moria grandissima began its terrible journey across the European and Asian continents in 1347, leaving unimaginable devastation in its wake. Five years later, twenty-five million people were dead, felled by the scourge that would come to be called the Black Death. The Great Mortality is the extraordinary epic account of the worst natural disaster in European history -- a drama of courage, cowardice, misery, madness, and sacrifice that brilliantly illuminates humankind's darkest days when an old world ended and a new world was born.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Brief History Of The Hundred Years War

A Brief History Of The Hundred Years War by Desmond Seward by Desmond Seward (no photo)


For over a hundred years England repeatedly invaded France on the pretext that her kings had a right to the French throne. France was a large, unwieldy kingdom, England was small and poor, but for the most part she dominated the war, sacking towns and castles and winning battles - including such glorious victories as Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt, but then the English run of success began to fail, and in four short years she lost Normandy and finally her last stronghold in Guyenne. The protagonists of the Hundred Year War are among the most colourful in European history: for the English, Edward III, the Black Prince and Henry V, later immortalized by Shakespeare; for the French, the splendid but inept John II, who died a prisoner in London, Charles V, who very nearly overcame England and the enigmatic Charles VII, who did at last drive the English out. Desmond Seward's account traces the changes that led to France's final victory and brings to life all the intrigue and colour of the last chivalric combats as they gave way to a more brutal modern warfare.

message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Thank you Jose.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Cross and Crescent in the Balkans: The Ottoman Conquest of Southeastern Europe (14th-15th Centuries)

Cross and Crescent in the Balkans The Ottoman Conquest of Southeastern Europe (14th-15th Centuries) by David Nicolle by David Nicolle (no photo)


This is not just another retelling of the Fall of Constantinople, though it does include a very fine account of that momentous event. It is the history of a quite extraordinary century, one which began when a tiny of force of Ottoman Turkish warriors was invited by the Christian Byzantine Emperor to cross the Dardanelles from Asia into Europe to assist him in one of the civil wars which were tearing the fast-declining Byzantine Empire apart.
One hundred and eight years later the Byzantine capital of Constantinople fell to what was by then a hugely powerful and expanding empire of the Islamic Ottoman Turks, whose rulers came to see themselves as the natural and legitimate heirs of their Byzantine and indeed Roman predecessors. The book sets the scene, explains the background and tells the story, both military, political, cultural and personal, of the winners and the losers, plus those 'outsiders' who were increasingly being drawn into the dramatic story of the rise of the Ottoman Empire.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments France in the Middle Ages 987-1460: From Hugh Capet to Joan of Arc

France in the Middle Ages 987-1460 From Hugh Capet to Joan of Arc (History of France) by Georges Duby by Georges Duby Georges Duby


In this book, now available in paperback, he examines the history of France from the rise of the Capetians in the mid-tenth century to the execution of Joan of Arc in the mid-fifteenth. He takes the evolution of power and the emergence of the French state as his central themes, and guides the reader through complex - and, in many respects, still unfamiliar, yet fascinating terrain. He describes the growth of the castle and the village, the building blocks of the new Western European civilization of the second millenium AD.

message 9: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I think the Ottoman Empire may be one of the most fascinating kingdoms in history and the most long-lasting. This book describes it at its height.

The Ottoman Empire: 1326 - 1699

The Ottoman Empire 1326-1699 by Stephen Turnbull by Stephen Turnbull Stephen Turnbull


The Ottoman Empire and its conflicts provide one of the longest continuous narratives in military history. Its rulers were never overthrown by a foreign power and no usurper succeeded in taking the throne. At its height under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Empire became the most powerful state in the world - a multi-national, multilingual empire that stretched from Vienna to the upper Arab peninsula. With Suleiman's death began the gradual decline to the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 in which the Ottoman Empire lost much of its European territory. This volume covers the main campaigns and the part played by such elite troops as the Janissaries and the Sipahis, as well as exploring the social and economic impact of the conquests.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Joan of Arc: Her Story

Joan of Arc Her Story by Régine Pernoud by Régine Pernoud Régine Pernoud


In an exquisite English translation from the bestselling French edition, Joan of Arc: Her Story now appears for American readers. From the French peasant girl who led an army to the icon burned at the stake, Joan has been a blank slate on which thousands have written. Pernoud and Clin clear away the myths so that modern readers can see Joan as she was and include a glossary of important individuals, historical events and interpretations of Joan through the ages. Joan of Arc: Her Story is the thrilling life of a woman who obsesses us even to this day.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

A Distant Mirror The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman Barbara W. Tuchman Barbara W. Tuchman


The 14th century gives us back two contradictory images: a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry, and a dark time of ferocity and spiritual agony, a world plunged into a chaos of war, fear and the Plague.

Barbara Tuchman anatomizes the century, revealing both the great rhythms of history and the grain and texture of domestic life as it was lived.

message 12: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) José Luís Pinto wrote: "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

A Distant Mirror The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman Barbara W. Tuchman Barbara W. Tuchman


A very good book, Jose by one of my favorite authors.

message 13: by José Luís (last edited Dec 19, 2014 10:47AM) (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Jill wrote: "José Luís Pinto wrote: "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

A Distant Mirror The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman Barbara W. Tuchman [author:Barbara W. T..."

Thank you. Now I'm trying to put reference works on most of these threads as they have few books or cover some serious historical "holes" we have here. This work may be a bit dated, but it seems to be by its reviews a popular one with high quality, making it at least a nice introduction to the great period of change that were the Late Middle Ages and namely the crises of the 14th century.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the Politics of the New Age

Apocalypse in Rome Cola di Rienzo and the Politics of the New Age by Ronald G. Musto by Ronald G. Musto (no photo)


On May 20, 1347, Cola di Rienzo overthrew without violence the turbulent rule of Rome’s barons and the absentee popes. A young visionary and the best political speaker of his time, Cola promised Rome a return to its former greatness. Ronald G. Musto’s vivid biography of this charismatic leader—whose exploits have enlivened the work of poets, composers, and dramatists, as well as historians—peels away centuries of interpretation to reveal the realities of fourteenth-century Italy and to offer a comprehensive account of Cola’s rise and fall.

A man of modest origins, Cola gained a reputation as a talented professional with an unparalleled knowledge of Rome’s classical remains. After earning the respect and friendship of Petrarch and the sponsorship of Pope Clement VI, Cola won the affections and loyalties of all classes of Romans. His buono stato established the reputation of Rome as the heralded New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse and quickly made the city a potent diplomatic and religious center that challenged the authority—and power—of both pope and emperor.

At the height of Cola’s rule, a conspiracy of pope and barons forced him to flee the city and live for years as a fugitive until he was betrayed and taken to Avignon to stand trial as a heretic. Musto relates the dramatic story of Cola’s subsequent exoneration and return to central Italy as an agent of the new pope. But only weeks after he reestablished his government, he was slain by the Romans atop the Capitoline hill.

In his exploration, Musto examines every known document pertaining to Cola’s life, including papal, private, and diplomatic correspondence rarely used by earlier historians. With his intimate knowledge of historical Rome—its streets and ruins, its churches and palaces, from the busy Tiber riverfront to the lost splendor of the Capitoline—he brings a cinematic flair to this fascinating historical narrative.

message 15: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) You are truly a scholar of the Middle Ages, Jose! It is an era of history of which I have not read much but you are getting me interested in looking into some of the books you have posted. Thanks.

message 16: by José Luís (last edited Dec 19, 2014 05:05PM) (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments I'm not properly a scholar as I'm still a bit too young for that. I'm just a person who has lots of interests, of which one is the Middle Ages. I hope to have a history degree later after I gain a master degree in Medicine. Anyway, thank you very much for your compliments!

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World

Tamerlane Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World by Justin Marozzi by Justin Marozzi Justin Marozzi


Tamerlane (1336-1405)-the tartar successor to Genghis Khan-ranks with Alexander the Great as one of the world’s greatest conquerors. His armies were ferocious, feared throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe. They blazed through Asia like a firestorm, razing cities, torturing captives, and massacring enemies. Anyone who dared defy Tamerlane was likely decapitated, and towers of bloody heads soon became chilling monuments to his power throughout Central Asia. By the end of his life, Tamerlane had imposed his iron rule, as well as a refined culture, over a vast territory-from Syria to India, from Siberia to the Mediterranean. Justin Marozzi traveled in the footsteps of this infamous and enigmatic emperor of Samarkand (in modern Uzbekistan) to tell the story of this cruel, cultivated, and powerful warrior.

message 18: by José Luís (last edited Dec 21, 2014 07:51AM) (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments The Devil's Broker: Seeking Gold, God, and Glory in Fourteenth- Century Italy

The Devil's Broker Seeking Gold, God, and Glory in Fourteenth- Century Italy by Frances Stonor Saunders by Frances Stonor Saunders (no photo)


A vibrant history of Italy in the cataclysmic fourteenth century as seen through the life of a brilliant military strategist and bandit lord.

At the dawn of the Renaissance, hordes of mercenaries swooped down on the opulent city-states of Italy and commenced to drain them dry. The greatest of all the bandits was Sir John Hawkwood, an English expatriate and military genius who formed his own army, cleverly pitted ancient rivals against one another, held the Pope for ransom, and set blood running in the streets.

In this gripping biography of the charismatic Hawkwood, Frances Stonor Saunders illuminates the fourteenth century as a time of plague, political schism, and religious mania offset by a gargantuan appetite for spectacle and luxury. Dazzling and addictively readable, The Devil's Broker is a riveting account of the fortunes gained and lost in a tumultuous time.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England

Agincourt Henry V and the Battle That Made England by Juliet Barker by Juliet Barker Juliet Barker


Waged almost six centuries ago, the Battle of Agincourt still captivates. It is the classic underdog story, and generations have wondered how the English--outmanned by the French six to one--could have succeeded so bravely and brilliantly. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Juliet Barker paints a gripping narrative of the October 1415 clash between the outnumbered English archers and the heavily armored French knights. Populated with chivalrous heroes, dastardly spies, and a ferocious and bold king, Agincourt is as earthshaking as its subject--and confirms Juliet Barker's status as both a historian and a storyteller of the first rank.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments The Making of a Court Society: Kings and Nobles in Late Medieval Portugal

The Making of a Court Society Kings and Nobles in Late Medieval Portugal by Rita Costa-Gomes by Rita Costa-Gomes Rita Costa-Gomes


This full-length study of the Portuguese royal court in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries shows how women and men, noblemen and clergy, artisans and minor servants at the royal court lived in close proximity and were connected to each other. It describes the constant displacement of this complex community within the geographical space of Portugal, and how everyday life at court was shaped by ceremonial duties and common activities.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire Within East-Central Europe, 1295 1345

Lithuania Ascending A Pagan Empire Within East-Central Europe, 1295 1345 by S. C. Rowell by S. C. Rowell (no photo)


From 1250 to 1795 Lithuania covered a vast area of eastern and central Europe. Until 1387 the country was pagan. How this huge state came to expand, defend itself against western European crusaders and play a conspicuous part in European life are the main subjects of this book. Chapters are devoted to the types of sources used, to the religion of the ancient Balts (and the discovery of a pagan temple in Vilnius in the late 1980s), and to Lithuanian relations and wars with Poland and the Germans. Under Grand Duke Gediminas, Lithuania came to control more of Russia than the prince of Moscow.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments The History of the Renaissance World: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople

The History of the Renaissance World From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople by Susan Wise Bauer by Susan Wise Bauer Susan Wise Bauer


Beginning in the heady days just after the First Crusade, this volume the third in the series that began with The History of the Ancient World and The History of the Medieval World chronicles the contradictions of a world in transition. Popes continue to preach crusade, but the hope of a Christian empire comes to a bloody end at the walls of Constantinople. Aristotelian logic and Greek rationality blossom while the Inquisition gathers strength. As kings and emperors continue to insist on their divine rights, ordinary people all over the world seize power: the lingayats of India, the Jacquerie of France, the Red Turbans of China, and the peasants of England.

New threats appear, as the Ottomans emerge from a tiny Turkish village and the Mongols ride out of the East to set the world on fire. New currencies are forged, new weapons invented, and world-changing catastrophes alter the landscape: the Little Ice Age and the Great Famine kill millions; the Black Death, millions more. In the chaos of these epoch-making events, our own world begins to take shape.

Impressively researched and brilliantly told, The History of the Renaissance World offers not just the names, dates, and facts but the memorable characters who illuminate the years between 1100 and 1453 years that marked a sea change in mankind s perception of the world."

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Conquest

Conquest by Juliet Barker by Juliet Barker Juliet Barker


In her best-selling Agincourt, Juliet Barker gave us the definitive narrative of Henry V’s extraordinary victory over the French. Now, in Conquest, she tells the equally remarkable, but largely forgotten, story of the dramatic years when England ruled France at the point of a sword.

Henry V’s second invasion of France in 1417 launched a campaign that would put the crown of France on an English head. Buoyed by victory, his conquest looked unstoppable. By the time of his premature death in 1422, almost all of northern France was in his hands. The Valois heir to the throne had been disinherited and it was Henry’s infant son who became the first English king of France.

Only the miraculous appearance of a visionary peasant girl – Joan of Arc – would halt the English advance. Yet despite her victories, her influence was short-lived: Henry VI had his coronation in Paris six months after her death and his kingdom endured for another twenty years. When he came of age he was not the leader his father had been. It was the dauphin, whom Joan had crowned Charles VII, who would finally drive the English out of France.

Conquest brings to life these stirring times – the epic battles and sieges, plots and betrayals – through a kaleidoscope of characters from John Talbot, the ‘English Achilles’, and John, duke of Bedford, regent of France, to brutal mercenaries, opportunistic freebooters, resourceful spies and tragic lovers torn apart by the conflict.

Supremely evocative and readable, Conquest is narrative history at its most colourful and compelling – the true story of those who fought for an English kingdom of France.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments The English Nobility in the Late Middle Ages

The English Nobility in the Late Middle Ages by Chris Given-Wilson by Chris Given-Wilson


Chris Given-Wilson provides an authoritative and vivid reconstruction of the true nature of political society in late medieval England. He looks at the social structure of the time, discussing what contemporaries meant when they talked of the nobility, always emphasizing the close relationship between social status and political influence. He describes the noble household and council, and examines the territorial and familial policies of local and national affairs.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Europe: Hierarchy and Revolt 1320-1450

Europe Hierarchy and Revolt 1320-1450 (Classic Histories of Europe) by George Arthur Holmes by George Arthur Holmes (no photo)


This book provides a classic introduction to a key period in the history of Europe - the transition from medieval to Renaissance Europe." "In this updated edition, Professor Holmes traces the main political events as well as describing broader changes in social structure and culture. He reveals the interactions between politics, society and ideas that contributed to the problems and changes of this period.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Agincourt 1415: Triumph against the odds

Agincourt 1415 Triumph against the odds by Matthew Bennett by Matthew Bennett (no photo)


Osprey's Campaign title for one of the most important campaigns of the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453). Agincourt is one of the most evocative names in English military history. Henry V's forces were tired, hungry, and faced a French army three to six times more numerous. However, they possessed several advantages, and English success resulted from the combination of heavily armoured men-at-arms with troops armed with the infamous longbow - the havoc this weapon wreaked was crucial. Using original fifteenth century evidence, including the surviving French battle plan and the accounts of men present in both armies, this title discusses the lead-up to the battle, the tactical dispositions of the two forces and the reasons for the ultimate English success.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest

The Late Medieval Balkans A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest by John V.A. Fine by John V.A. Fine (no photo)


"Any further advances in scholarship on the late medieval Balkans will have to begin with this book."
---George Majeska, University of Maryland

The Late Medieval Balkans is the first comprehensive examination of the events of the late medieval Balkan history---events that were as important as they were fascinating.

The period that John Fine examines was an era of significant demographic, political, and religious change in the region. During this time, native populations were supplemented or replaced by the Bulgars and various Slavic tribes, who were to become the Bulgarians, Serbs, and Croats---ethnic identities whose historical conflicts have persisted to this day.

The Late Medieval Balkans is an important source for those who wish to expand their knowledge of this turbulent period and who wish to broaden their understanding of the region.

message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Great job on all of the medieval threads with the adds Jose.

message 29: by José Luís (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Pedro the Cruel of Castile, 1350-1369

Pedro the Cruel of Castile, 1350-1369 (The Medieval Mediterranean Peoples, Economies And Cultures, 400-1453, #6) by Clara Estow by Clara Estow (no photo)


This work deals with the reign of Pedro I of Castile (1350-1369), known as "The Cruel," one of the most notorious and misunderstood figures in the annals of peninsular history. This is the first book on the subject that analyzes Pedro's rule in light of social, political, diplomatic, and economic conditions in mid-14th century Castile. Using extant primary documentation from archival sources and the most recent findings of scholars from various fields, the book explores in detail the historical basis for Pedro's reputation and the extent to which this reputation unfairly rests on the testimony of Pero Lopez de Ayala, the reign's principal chronicler. The book provides fresh insights into various aspects of Pedro's career, such as his political aims, relations with religious minorities, and fiscal policies.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Bannockburn 1314: A New History

Bannockburn 1314 A New History by Chris Brown by Chris Brown (no photo)


Bannockburn 1314 is a history of the most celebrated battle between Scotland and England, in which a mere 7,000 followers of Robert the Bruce defeated more than 15,000 of Edward II’s troops. The Battle of Bannockburn, fought over two days on June 23 and 24, 1314 by a small river crossing just south of Stirling, was a decisive victory for Robert, and secured for Scotland de facto independence from England. It was the greatest defeat the English would suffer throughout the Middle Ages, and a huge personal humiliation for Edward. Chris Brown’s account recreates the campaign from the perspectives of both the Scots and English. Through an in-depth investigation of contemporary narrative sources as well as administrative records, and with a fresh look at the terrain where the battle was fought, he is able to come to firmer conclusions as to exactly what happened, and why, and thereby to rewrite the traditional history of the battle.

message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Thank you Jose

message 32: by Katie (new)

Katie (katie1421) The Autumn of the Middle Ages

The Autumn of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga by Johan Huizinga Johan Huizinga

This is perhaps my favorite medieval history book. It's not perfect, but it's the work that made me fall in love with the subject. Huizinga's work - as you could probably guess by the title - is lyrical and nostalgic, and he views the 15th century as one in which the previously vibrant forms of medieval culture were drying up and hardening into empty gestures. I think what this book does wonderfully well is to give the reader an idea of how deeply symbolic the world was to medieval men and women, how every concept and idea and word was connected to an interlocking web of meanings. Examples are taken largely from the Burgundian court, but at its best the work is relevant to all of medieval culture.

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José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Katie wrote: "The Autumn of the Middle Ages

The Autumn of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga by Johan Huizinga Johan Huizinga

This is perhaps my favorite medieval his..."

I had already seen it and was worried about putting this here as it's almost 100 years old, but we need some classics (smile). Huizinga helped to emphasize the medieval character of the 15th and 16th centuries, but I think it ended up downplaying the Renaissance's ruptures too much (although it was a good reaction to 19th century scholars like Burckhardt or Michelet).

message 34: by Katie (new)

Katie (katie1421) Yes, I'd agree. I think part of the problem was that so much of his focus was on the Burgundian court - I don't know a whole lot about it, but I get the impression it was not terribly representative of European culture as a whole.

I think the book's biggest flaw is that it portrays medieval culture as "dying" and then Renaissance culture as "being born," which is an attractive but not necessarily accurate way of looking at things. If you take a look at Italy instead, it's much harder to draw a clear-cut line between what's medieval and what's Renaissance. They bled into each other so much.

Despite that, though, I think it's a great conceptual look at medieval culture in the big picture.

message 35: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Thank you both.

message 36: by José Luís (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Prince Henry "the Navigator": A Life

Prince Henry "the Navigator" A Life by Peter Russell by Peter Russell (no photo)


This enthralling biography of the legendary 15th century Portuguese prince examines the full range of his activities as an imperialist and as a maritime, cartographical, and navigational pioneer. Russell shows his innovations set in motion changes that altered the history of Europe and regions far beyond.

message 37: by José Luís (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments The Hussite Wars 1419-36

The Hussite Wars 1419-36 by Stephen Turnbull by Stephen Turnbull Stephen Turnbull


In 1415, the judicial murder of the religious reformer Jan Hus sparked a major uprising in Bohemia. His death led within a few years to the 'Hussite' revolution against the monarchy, the German aristocracy and the Church establishment. For two decades the largely peasant Hussite armies successfully defied a series of international 'crusades'; they owed many of their victories to the charismatic general Jan Zizka, and his novel tactical methods based on the use of 'war wagons'. This remarkable episode in medieval warfare is remembered not only as the Czech national epic, but as an important forerunner to the wars of the Reformation the following century.

message 38: by José Luís (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Late Medieval France

Late Medieval France by Graeme Small by Graeme Small (no photo)


This book provides a fresh introduction to the political history of late medieval France duing the turbulent period of the Hundred Years' War, taking into account the social, economic and religious contexts. Graeme Small considers not just the monarchy but also prelates, noble networks and the emerging municipalities in this new analysis.

message 39: by José Luís (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Chronicles

Chronicles by Jean Froissart by Jean Froissart John Bourchier, Lord Berners


Froissart (1337-1410), sometimes described as the historian of the Hundred Years' War, was one of the first great journalists.
His Chronicles reveal the same curiosity about character and customs which underlies the works of his contemporary, Chaucer. This selection depicts a panorama of Europe during the great age of Anglo-French rivalry, from the deposition of Edward II to the downfall of Richard II, Froissart's famous descriptions of chivalry in action at Sluy's, Crecy, Calais and Poitiers are only part of a comprehensive court's-eye-view of society which embraces trading activities, diplomacy and the Peasants' Revolt.

message 40: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Lavishly illustrated history of the Crusader Knights.

The Illustrated History of Knights & Crusades: Battles, Chivalry, Campaigns, Weapons, Tournaments

The Illustrated History of Knights & Crusades Battles, Chivalry, Campaigns, Weapons, Tournaments by Charles Phillips by Charles Phillips (no photo)


This title examines both the life and position of the medieval knight, including the training, tournaments, obligations, honours and exploits of these 'men of iron'.

message 41: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Thanks everyone - Jill, of course Jose and Katie too.

message 42: by Katie (new)

Katie (katie1421) Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century After Saint Francis

Spiritual Franciscans From Protest to Persecution in the Century After Saint Francis by David Burr by David Burr (no photo)


I love the Franciscan Order - they're fascinating in their own right, but they're also a bit like the history of the Catholic Church in microcosm. The development of the Franciscan order is the story of how one turns a spontaneous movement started by a charismatic leader into a permanent and sustainable institution. David Burr's book is a story about how this happened, and how it ultimately caused a violent fissure down the middle of the order. One of my favorite subjects in medieval history.

message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Thank you Katie - you have the format down. Appreciate the adds.

message 44: by Katie (new)

Katie (katie1421) The Life of Cola di Rienzo

The Life Of Cola Di Rienzo by John Wright , Anonymous.


This is one of my favorite medieval sources I've ever read. It tells the tale of Cola di Rienzo - José has already posted an excellent biography of him by Ronald Musto - who is one of the most fascinating figures of the Middle Ages. Cola di Rienzo styled himself as a new "Tribune of Rome" in the 14th century and staged a dramatic revolt in the name of Roman Antiquity against the city's nobles.

It's one of the most engagingly written medieval sources I've ever read, and it's difficult to get a handle on exactly what the author thought about Cola, ranging from glowing admiration to disappointment to disgust. It's a hugely compelling read and I can't recommend it enough. It blows my mind that no one has made a movie about this.

message 45: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 17, 2015 08:45AM) (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Thank you Katie - you seemed to have done a great job with the format.

However the author citation does not seem quite right - are you indicating that goodreads has it incorrectly cited. If so, a goodreads librarian should fix it and you should bring it to their attention.

Otherwise, this is what goodreads has: (even though Wright is the translator) - you might reach out to one of the folks on the Goodreads Librarian site to fix this up a bit but the author does need at least a link and if Goodreads is incorrect then the link needs to be fixed. In this case the translators photo and link is available.

The Life Of Cola Di Rienzo by John Wright by John Wright John Wright

If you do add the author's citation as goodreads has it - at the very least the goodreads reader will be taken to the proper page where it clearly delineates the book, the translator and additional information.

Could you fix the citation above. Thank you so much.

message 46: by José Luís (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Charles the Bold: The Last Valois Duke of Burgundy

Charles the Bold The Last Valois Duke of Burgundy by Richard Vaughan by Richard Vaughan (no photo)


Charles the Bold (1467-1477) was the last of the great Dukes of Burgundy. This historical and biographical work assesses his personality and his role as a ruler, and discusses his relationship with his subjects and his neighbours. It describes and analyses his policies, giving particular attention to his imperial plans and projects and his clash with the Swiss. The armies, the court and Burgundian clients and partisans are given separate treatment.

message 47: by José Luís (last edited Feb 03, 2015 08:52AM) (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Popular Protest in Late-Medieval Europe: Italy, France and Flanders

Popular Protest in Late-Medieval Europe Italy, France and Flanders by Samuel K. Cohn Jr. by Samuel K. Cohn Jr. Samuel K. Cohn Jr.


The documents in this fascinating volume focus on the "contagion of rebellion" that followed the Black Death, which ravaged Europe in the years between 1355 and 1382. They comprise a diversity of sources and cover a variety of forms of popular protest in different social, political and economic settings. Their authors include revolutionaries, the artistocracy, merchants and representatives from the church. Of more than 200 documents presented here, most have been translated into English for the first time, providing students and scholars with a new opportunity to compare social movements across Europe over two centuries.

message 48: by José Luís (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments The Great Famine: Northern Europe in the Early Fourteenth Century

The Great Famine Northern Europe in the Early Fourteenth Century by William Chester Jordan by William Chester Jordan (no photo)


The horrors of the Great Famine (1315-1322), one of the severest catastrophes ever to strike northern Europe, lived on for centuries in the minds of Europeans who recalled tales of widespread hunger, class warfare, epidemic disease, frighteningly high mortality, and unspeakable crimes. Until now, no one has offered a perspective of what daily life was actually like throughout the entire region devastated by this crisis, nor has anyone probed far into its causes. Here, the distinguished historian William Jordan provides the first comprehensive inquiry into the Famine from Ireland to western Poland, from Scandinavia to central France and western Germany. He produces a rich cultural history of medieval community life, drawing his evidence from such sources as meteorological and agricultural records, accounts kept by monasteries providing for the needy, and documentation of military campaigns. Whereas there has been a tendency to describe the food shortages as a result of simply bad weather or else poor economic planning, Jordan sets the stage so that we see the complex interplay of social and environmental factors that caused this particular disaster and allowed it to continue for so long.

Jordan begins with a description of medieval northern Europe at its demographic peak around 1300, by which time the region had achieved a sophisticated level of economic integration. He then looks at problems that, when combined with years of inundating rains and brutal winters, gnawed away at economic stability. From animal diseases and harvest failures to volatile prices, class antagonism, and distribution breakdowns brought on by constant war, northern Europeans felt helplessly besieged by acts of an angry God--although a cessation of war and a more equitable distribution of resources might have lessened the severity of the food shortages.

Throughout Jordan interweaves vivid historical detail with a sharp analysis of why certain responses to the famine failed. He ultimately shows that while the northern European economy did recover quickly, the Great Famine ushered in a period of social instability that had serious repercussions for generations to come.

message 49: by José Luís (new)

José Luís  Fernandes | 1016 comments Spain's Centuries of Crisis: 1300-1474

Spain's Centuries of Crisis 1300-1474 by Teofilo F. Ruiz by Teofilo F. Ruiz (no photo)


A comprehensive history that focuses on the crises of Spain in the late middle ages and the early transformations that underpinned the later successes of the Catholic Monarchs. Illuminates Spain's history from the early fourteenth century to the union of the Crowns of Castile and Aragon in 1474 Examines the challenges and reforms of the social, economic, political, and cultural structures of the country. Looks at the early transformations that readied Spain for the future opportunities and challenges of the early modern Age of Discovery. Includes a helpful bibliography to direct the reader toward further study.

message 50: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Very good Jose

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