The first crusade of 1096 unleashed a wave of impassioned, personally felt, deeply pious Christian fury that was expressed in a mass movement centered in France and spreading to other European kingdoms, including Flanders, German speaking principalities, and Italy. Master historian Harold Lamb tells the incredible story of how Pope Urban II fanned the sparks of Christian anger into a mighty conflagration of righteous indignation with his speech of 1095 in Clermont. It was a speech that would occupy the hearts and minds of Europeans for over 200 years.
Tens of thousands of peasants, both men and women, simply left their fields and workshops and joined knights and monks on a journey to take back holy Jerusalem from the infidel Muslims. A river of humanity, often hostile and destructive, flowed across Europe and into Byzantium and Asia. Led by baronial leaders like Godfrey of Bouillon, Baldwin of Flanders, Raymond of Toulouse, Robert of Normandy, and the mighty Bohemond of Taranto, their confrontation with Islamic armies would soon follow. The results of those armed clashes produced some of the most amazing stories you will ever hear.
Be sure to listen to Volume 2 in this series by Harold Lamb: The Flame of Islam.
©1930 Estate of Harold Lamb (P)2012 Audio Connoisseur
Engineer the Bass Player
This book was originally written in 1930. Some of the terminology and tone is very dated and the book is uncritical of its sources. Nevertheless, it is entertaining and provides a basic framework for the first crusade. It only briefly goes over the next three. The narrator is excellent and makes the book worth listening to.
This is the first book by Lamb i had listened too and while it tells a compelling story, half the information is really dated. Lamb mentions that only the strongest warriors could even swing a long-sword. Long-swords are not that heavy and even a child could lift one. He then also speaks of chivalry which is anachronistic to say the least as that concept had not developed in the period of the first crusade. I don't even want to get started on the concept of luxurious eastern despotism. If you know nothing about the Crusades and are looking for a starter by all means this is a great resource as long as you take it with a grain of salt, However; if you already have a bit a knowledge on the area stay away.
"The Crusades Through Arab Eyes" is a better telling and more factual than Lambs book and i would highly recommend it.
He regularly massacres foreign names, but honestly hes a great narrator if you can get passed that one thing.
The book was interesting although a little dry in some parts, the narration as always from Charlton Griffin was first rate.
the reader reminds me of a Monty Python sketch - hard to take seriously - reverb behind some passages simply amplifies this affect - and prima nocture is NOT real - they say it IS
the stories of the first crusades as they raped and sacked so many European communities en route to the "HOLY land"..... to rid it of godless people...
I enjoyed the story and the feeling of a tale around a campfire infuses this performance for me - not sure how factually accurate it is - of course I will have to follow up.
Its just campy....and I still enjoyed it
Engineer in St Louis, Missouri, United States
This Book is Narrated by Charlton Griffin, who has is own style. It's different, but it's cool. Like an energetic and awesome old man. Plus, there is music in the key chapter transitions.
There is much that this book explains that no movie, no documentary, and no political work ever covers. The west was in mortal and existential danger before the Crusades. The brave people that fought for Christianity are remembered as the conquerors of Jerusalem, but they did much more. They suffered more like the Patriots at Valley Forge, they scaled mountains, they beat numerically superior forces, and they suffered tremendous loses.
Additionally, the trek from Central Europe to Jerusalem was on-foot, without support, and full of extreme danger. What they accomplished was an incredible accomplishment.
An interesting historical telling of the First Crusade and its aftermath. Lamb tells the story in such a way that the characters and setting come to life - we are there with the Crusaders on their journey. This is not a straight historical account (and has some inaccuracies as I understand), but certainly gives the listener a flavor of the time in all its religious fervor and bloodiness. I particularly liked the description of how they built the siege towers. This is a book that I could listen to again.
Griffin's narration seemed somewhat stilted to me. Not terrible, but I would have preferred someone who read more naturally.
This book begins with the background leading up to the First Crusade. The bulk of the story is the incredible journey of the First Crusade, with a few chapters detailing the aftermath, including the later Crusades about a century later.
I enjoyed listening to it.
This audio book made me speculate how wonderful it would have been if my school history teachers had related a historical period so richly. I enjoyed the sometimes subtle jabs at man's efforts to say, and get men to trust, that they are the masters of their fate. Greatly entertaining!
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