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Charlemagne

The Legend and the Man
Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Charlemagne was easily one of the most fascinating figures of Western civilization, as well as the most heroic and romantic. The 47 years of his reign marked some of the most significant and far reaching events of the Middle Ages. Undoubtedly, it was his enlightened vision for Europe that resulted in the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of cultural flowering that never really ceased to develop, and which led in a straight line directly to that period of astonishing achievement we now call the High Gothic. It is almost impossible to conceive what Europe might have been like without him. Indeed, even in the 21st century, we still hear the echoes of his deeds in the historical events that unfold today.

We follow the young king in his early years as he assumes control over a divided kingdom, as co-ruler of the Germanic Franks along with his brother Carloman. When Carloman dies, Charlemagne assumes sole possession of the crown and immediately begins his expansionist policy, first subduing the Lombards in Italy, then taking on the savage, pagan Saxons. As his empire grows, Charlemagne proves himself a genius at military and civil administration.

The Byzantine Emperor and Caliph of Bagdad held him in high esteem and acknowledged him as the successor to the western Roman emperors. But it was his great Christian faith and compassion that marked him out for greatness. As a fervent Christian, it was Charlemagne more than anyone else who charted the course of the church. As never before or since, Charlemagne held an empire in thrall as both its temporal and spiritual leader. He was one of the greatest men of his or any other age.

©1954 Harold Lamb (P)2018 Audio Connoisseur

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Charlton Griffin was outstanding as always

Loved it. Good story. Great performance. Charlton Griffin is simply the best narrator I have heard on audible. His choice of material is always a pleasure. Thank you for the introduction to Harold Lamb.

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More of an Oral Story Than a Historic Biography

The writing was not in the style of a typical biography. I could not accept the mythical almost fanciful style of this book. It was written, more as an oral story than a historic biography. The author tries to create a portrait of events using imaginary to an excess and thus sacrifices contributing historical detail and the significance of these profound events. When compared to another biography of an uncomplicated war commander who becomes a supreme leader, “American Ulysses” by Ron White it doesn’t compare. These men are separated by 1,000 years but the imaginary presented in Lamb’s Charlemagne is more vivid in scenery then in White’s Grant. Yet even with a millennium to compound the significance of Charlemagne’s actions to Western civilization, it seems under appreciated in this book. It’s all bad, its just not a great book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful