27 February 2014

Crusades

When I saw Crusades at the library, I knew that I had to read it. I mean, seriously, a book about the Crusades from Terry Jones of Monty Python fame? I had already watched the Medieval Lives BBC documentary series from Terry Jones and loved the way it debunked common myths about the Middle Ages.

Now, given the author and the purpose of this book, originally written as a companion to an A&E series, I wasn't expecting a lot from this book other than a rollicking fun read. I was surprised then to find that it closely followed the primary sources for the Crusades and took account of some really good scholarship to boot. It was a fun read, but it was also a good, solid introduction to the Crusades, written with an eye to telling a good story. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a broad overview of this complicated period in history. The only negative thing about the books was Jones's persistent cynicism, but of course that's only to be expected.

 4/5 stars

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