A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
Barbara W. Tuchman—the acclaimed author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning classic The Guns of August—once again marshals her gift for character, history, and sparkling prose to compose an astonishing portrait of medieval Europe.
The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering age of crusades, cathedrals, and chivalry; on the other, a world plunged into chaos and spiritual agony. In this revelatory work, Barbara W. Tuchman examines not only the great rhythms of history but the grain and texture of domestic life: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Granting her subjects their loyalties, treacheries, and guilty passions, Tuchman re-creates the lives of proud cardinals, university scholars, grocers and clerks, saints and mystics, lawyers and mercenaries, and, dominating all, the knight—in all his valor and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”
Praise for A Distant Mirror
“Beautifully written, careful and thorough in its scholarship . . . What Ms. Tuchman does superbly is to tell how it was. . . . No one has ever done this better.”—The New York Review of Books
“A beautiful, extraordinary book . . . Tuchman at the top of her powers . . . She has done nothing finer.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . a great book, in a great historical tradition.”—Commentary
NOTE: This edition does not include color images.
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Part Two 17 Coucys Rise
The Worms of the Earth Against the Lions
The Lure of Italy
A Second Norman Conquest
The Fiction Cracks
The Siege of Barbary
In a Dark Wood
Enguerrand and Isabella
Sons of Iniquity
The Gilded Shroud
The Emperor in Paris
The Papal Schism
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14th century Anjou archers armor arms army Avignon battle Bernabò Berry Bishop Black Death bourgeois Brittany brother Calais campaign cardinals castle Charles of Navarre chivalry Christian Chron chronicler Church Clement clergy Clisson combat companies Coucy's Council Count court crown crusade daughter Delachenal Deschamps died Duke of Brittany Duke of Burgundy Edward Emperor enemy England English Enguerrand Enguerrand de Coucy Estates fear fight Flanders Florence force French Froissart Gian Galeazzo gold honor horses Italy Jean Jean de Venette Jews killed King of France King's knights ladies Lancaster land livres lord Louis d'Orléans marriage medieval men-at-arms Monk Naples Navarre never nobles Normandy Orléans papacy papal Paris peace peasants Petrarch Philip Picardy plague Poitiers Pope Prince prisoners ransom Rome royal schism seigneur siege Sire de Coucy squires sword taxes took towns treaty Treaty of Brétigny Turks uncles Valois villages Visconti