Severus Snape
Canada
flag msg tools
Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
badge
"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oh readers, ye: pray tell, what books are the best on The Hundred Years' War?

goo
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Patterson
United States
Ringgold
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hands down, A Distant Mirror. A very readable book about that entire time period.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Mahaffey
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
GAME ARTIST
badge
GAME ARTIST
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Clear choice, a superb work.
Barbara Tuchman wrote:
Difficulty of empathy, of genuinely entering into the mental and emotional values of the Middle Ages, is the final obstacle. The main barrier is, I believe, the Christian religion as it then was: the matrix and law of medieval life, omnipresent, indeed compulsory. Its insistent principle that the life of the spirit and of the afterworld was superior to the here and now, to material life on earth, is one that the modern world does not share, no matter how devout some present-day Christians may be... (pg. xix)

I don't seriously recommend this book, but there's this gem in the acknowledgments to Timeline:
Michael Crichton wrote:
Our understanding of the medieval period has changed dramatically in the last fifty years. Although one occasionally still hears a self-important scientist speak of the Dark Ages, modern views have long since overthrown such simplicities. An age that was once thought to be static, brutal and benighted is now understood as dynamic and swiftly changing: and age where knowledge was sought and valued; where great universities were born, and learning fostered; where technology was enthusiastically advanced; where social relations were in flux; where trade was international; where the general level of violence was often less deadly than it is today. As for the old reputation of medieval times as a dark time of parochialism, religious prejudice and mass slaughter, the record of the twentieth century must lead any thoughtful observer to conclude that we are in no way superior.

In fact, the conception of a brutal medieval period was an invention of the Renaissance, whose proponents were at pains to emphasize a new spirit, even at the expense of the facts. If a benighted medieval world has proven a durable misconception, it may be because it confirms a cherished contemporary belief - that our species always moves forward to even better and more enlightened ways of life. This belief is utter fantasy, but it dies hard. It is especially difficult for modern people to conceive that our modern, scientific age might not be an improvement over the prescientific period.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark W. Johnson
United States
Casper
Wyoming
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bentlarsen wrote:
Oh readers, ye: pray tell, what books are the best on The Hundred Years' War?

goo
I recommend A Brief History of Medieval Warfare: The Rise and Fall of English Supremacy at Arms, 1317-1485 by Peter Reid. Don't let the word "brief" in the title fool you—this book contains 600+ pages (it was a long war, after all). The author goes into a good amount of detail on all the major battles and campaigns, and does a superb job relating military action to the political intrigue and in-fighting of the era. A great read.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Severus Snape
Canada
flag msg tools
Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
badge
"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks, Mark, for the suggestion.

As for the Dark Ages being so dark, did that idea orignate with Gibbon? It sounds like something he would say. We seem to either think the past was the good old days or we think it was the dark ages. Either way, it often seems we cannot be satisfied with where we are.

goo
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
flag msg tools
Dear Geek: Please insert the wittiest comment you can think of in this text pop-up. Then times it by seven.
badge
The Coat of Arms of Clan Montgomery - Scotland. Yes, that's a woman with the head of a savage in her hand, and an anchor. No clue what it means, but it's cool.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, one thing we have on the dark ages (so-called) - at least in the first-world countries - is that individual comfort is certainly better now that it was then. Central A/C, heat in winter at the push of a button, multiple and varied foods minutes from your home without hunting or growing it, spices cheap, we don't have to make our own clothes, we have hot running water, potable water at the turn of a faucet, and a work week of around 40 hours.

Certainly the modern world is not better from the perspective of brutality - including the brutality inflicted on third-world nations to bring those comforts listed above to the first-world. Hell, even the labels are derogatory, I guess.

But from the perspective of the number of people living better, healthier, freer (is that a word)?, more comfortably, I'll take our modern world any day.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adhika Widyaparaga
Indonesia
Yogyakarta
- None -
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bentlarsen wrote:
Oh readers, ye: pray tell, what books are the best on The Hundred Years' War?

goo

I have yet to get my hands on it, but many seem to have good opinions of Jonathan Sumption's three volume Hundred Years War.

http://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Years-War-Battle-Middle/dp/081...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Severus Snape
Canada
flag msg tools
Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
badge
"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
adhikayev wrote:
bentlarsen wrote:
Oh readers, ye: pray tell, what books are the best on The Hundred Years' War?

goo

I have yet to get my hands on it, but many seem to have good opinions of Jonathan Sumption's three volume Hundred Years War.

http://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Years-War-Battle-Middle/dp/081...

I am one hundred fifty pages into the first Sumption book. It is amazing as narrative history and a model of its kind. As far as battles go, only a few sentences, yet, I feel like I am reading the Jordan "Wheel of Time" series without the magic of a fantasy realm. Sumption is great.

goo
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls