Monday, 2013-06-03

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

A superlative piece of history writing. I honestly wished this wouldn’t end. One of the good things about it was giving me a perspective on medieval France, a region that I didn’t know much about. Tuchman’s “hero”, the last Sieur de Coucy, comes across as a complex, well-rounded man, grounded in his age and class but uncommonly competent. His journey through the century enables Tuchman to touch on topics such as religion, the status of Jews and women, wealth and status, even sanitation.

Highly recommended.