Must-Read Books about the Middle AgesThe ideas we tend to have about the Middle Ages are mostly based on how the time period has been interpreted through fantasy fiction and games, and the romanticizing of the era by intellectuals, scholars, politicians, and artists in the nineteenth century. These interpretations have given rise to a view of the Middle Ages as an entirely Christian society in western Europe, populated only by white people, and with few influences coming from outside. Moreover, the Middle Ages as a time period is in itself an after-the-fact construct. The Middle Ages got its name because in early history writing there was a time period of approximately one thousand years in between the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west and the Renaissance, and this time period needed a name. It was given the name the Middle Ages because it was located in the middle of Rome and the Renaissance, two supposedly superior and more sophisticated time periods. Yes, the Middle Ages was a time period of repression, oppression, persecution, warfare, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, and misogyny. But so is our time period.
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History books of the year
To vote on existing books from the list, beside each book there is a link vote for this book clicking it will add that book to your votes. To vote on books not in the list or books you couldn't find in the list, you can click on the tab add books to this list and then choose from your books, or simply search. Discover new books on Goodreads. Sign in with Facebook Sign in options. Join Goodreads. This list is for non-fiction books covering the Middle Ages, c. Historical fiction is not.
In that case, here are a few books which will give you a foothold on the Middle Ages as you begin your journey. Once they read a little about something that interests them, they can go from there. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous book, as one expects from National Geographic. The pictures encompass medieval paintings, sculptures, books, and archaeological finds, and are accompanied by handy maps and timelines. What is also great about it is that, while it is definitely Eurocentric like the other books on this list , it zooms out at certain points to illustrate what was going on across the world at the same time. If, like me, you want a detailed, close-up look at some of the objects historians talk about, this is a good place to start. The Middle Ages were not the same all over the world, and not the same from the beginning to the end of the period.
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Browse book recommendations:., The medieval period of Europe was an era of great turmoil and transformation—and a chapter from our history that enchants us to this day. Spanning the end of classical antiquity to the rise of the Renaissance roughly CE to CE , the era also known as the Middle Ages is most commonly associated with its darkest episodes: famine and pestilence, the barbarism of war, the severe religious conflicts of the Crusades.
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The recession has not been kind to history publishing. Far fewer books are being published than a few years ago, academics complain that publishers are no longer interested in unfamiliar topics and the bestseller lists are dominated by a handful of familiar names. Thankfully, though, a few jewels still glitter amid the gloom. It might be a bit more demanding than the typical history book — hardly surprising, given that its author is a professor at All Souls, Oxford. But if publishers can still give us something as intellectually bracing as this, they must be doing something right. This has been a good year for medieval history, perhaps because tales of the Middle Ages have a greater resonance when we are all watching the pennies, shopping locally and rebelling against our rulers.