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A Distant Mirror: the Calamitous 14th…

A Distant Mirror: the Calamitous 14th Century (original 1978; edition 1978)

by Barbara Tuchman (Author)

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5,472861,199 (4.15)227
Title:A Distant Mirror: the Calamitous 14th Century
Authors:Barbara Tuchman (Author)
Info:Knopf (1978), Edition: 8th, 677 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman (1978)


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» See also 227 mentions

English (77)  Dutch (4)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Spanish (1)  Icelandic (1)  All languages (86)
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
a very nice introduction to the European late middle ages. ( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
Eminently readable history of Europe in the high middle ages, with parallels to our "modern" sociopolitical problems. ( )
  piquant00 | Oct 20, 2018 |
Though in some ways dated, this is still a highly informative and entertaining book about the 14th century in Europe. The book explores the catastrophes that befell 14th century Europe--mostly the Black Death, the Papal Schism, and the incessant warring that consumed France and England. By illustrating how knights of that era failed to live up to their own chivalric standards, Tuchman shows us a system of oppression that impacted everyone, from serfs to kings. The personalities are memorable and the use of Coucy as a mirror through which to see the era is well done. Tuchman wrote with a descriptive flair that brings long-dead words and deeds to life again. Definitely a worthy examination of an era of both great despair and great beauty. ( )
  ElleGato | Sep 24, 2018 |
Great look at this specific era in a way that made the people and the times come to life. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
My GR review, May 03, '09 (read the book Jan '05):
Magnificent book! From The Plague (Black Death) to epic battles (Poitiers); intrigues and struggles for dominance from England to Italy; an overall captivating look at a society so foreign from today. This is weighty, detailed history, so I'd recommend for anyone with a healthy appetite for the medieval world. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Sep 18, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara W. Tuchmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sliedrecht-Smit, J.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, S. deEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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" For mankind is ever the same and nothing is lost out of nature, though everything is altered. "

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The genesis of this book was a desire to find out what were the effects on society of the most lethal disaster of recorded history-that is to say, of the Black Death of 1348-50, which killed an estimated one third of the population living between India and Iceland.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345349571, Paperback)

In this sweeping historical narrative, Barbara Tuchman writes of the cataclysmic 14th century, when the energies of medieval Europe were devoted to fighting internecine wars and warding off the plague. Some medieval thinkers viewed these disasters as divine punishment for mortal wrongs; others, more practically, viewed them as opportunities to accumulate wealth and power. One of the latter, whose life informs much of Tuchman's book, was the French nobleman Enguerrand de Coucy, who enjoyed the opulence and elegance of the courtly tradition while ruthlessly exploiting the peasants under his thrall. Tuchman looks into such events as the Hundred Years War, the collapse of the medieval church, and the rise of various heresies, pogroms, and other events that caused medieval Europeans to wonder what they had done to deserve such horrors.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The prize-winning historian traces the major currents of the fourteenth century, revealing the century's great historical rhythms and events and the texture of daily life at all levels of European society.

(summary from another edition)

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