In this ground-breaking work, Norman Cantor explains how our current notion of the Middle Ages—with its vivid images of wars, tournaments, plagues, saints and kings, knights and ladies—was born in the 20th century. The medieval world was not simply excavated through systematic research. It had to be conceptually created: it had to be invented, and this is the story of that invention.
Cantor focuses on the lives and works of twenty of the great medievalists of this century, demonstrating how the events of their lives, and their spiritual and emotional outlooks, influenced their interpretations of the Middle Ages. He makes their scholarship an intensely personal and passionate exercise, full of color and controversy, displaying the strong personalities and creative minds that brought new insights about the past.
©1991 Norman Cantor (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
This is a side of scholarship you rarely hear about, the study of those who are studying the histories and putting them together. I find a book like this to be invaluable to any level of historical curiosity because it paints a completely new understanding of how our knowledge of history is informed. What we know, what we think we know, and how we got to either of those types of conclusions is now completely under the microscope for us. From this we get new answers, and thusly, new questions. It makes the study of history that much richer, especially for those of us who don't have much insight into the world of the historian. This book is probably a bit much for the generally curious, but for the most scholarly-oriented, this one's a winner.
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