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A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

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He had had one temperamental and extravagant wife eight years his senior, and a second approximately thirty years his junior. And this he did when the two Kingdoms were at war; a war that would last for over one hundred years. Barbara Wertheim Tuchman was an American self-trained historian and author and double Pulitzer Prize winner. And indeed the reflection of humanity you see in this "distant mirror" is almost unrecognizable, but all the more fascinating for that.

Again believing in chivalry, Jean used his knights to lead the charge just as Philip VI had done at Crecy with the same result. It is admirable the skill with which the author stays so detailed and yet so comprehensive in her narrative, striking a delicate balance between giving broad historic information, on the one hand, and personal and immersive stories, on the other. In John’s absence, the bourgeois rose in France, and the Third Estate attempted to establish constitutional control.Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thoughts on Papyrus with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes and a National Book Award, Tuchman was one of the great author/historians of her time, or any time. Slightly Foxed introduces its readers to books that are no longer new and fashionable but have lasting appeal. That said, her chronological sections are just as engaging, displaying her rare gift for giving life to people who lived hundreds of years ago.

The result is that this is probably one of the most engaging history non fiction books I have ever read.That slight attention is evidenced in the arts and literature of that time from which children are almost absent. Unlike some authors of ambitiously long and complicated books, Tuchman doesn't peter out near the end and leave the reader feeling cheated. The Prince of Wales took Jean back to England along with other captured nobles and the enormous booty he had seized.

Excelente retrato da França, Inglaterra e as relações/consequências com a igreja católica no final da idade média.

A Distant Mirror makes us appreciate that the society back then was very different from the society and the state as we know it now. He is a perfect character to follow since he is thus connected to both the French and English nobility, the two warring nations. While the losses were heavy on both sides, arrogance and overconfidence led to the defeat of the crusaders. My friend Eric’s review says simply, “Normally, I have always enjoyed Barbara Tuchman's books, but this one, while very interesting, I felt I had to struggle a bit”. 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.

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