Thursday, January 8, 2015

Middle Ages: the illustrated history of the Medieval World

This book, written by Anita Baker and published by Carlton Books in 2014, provides an easy to read introduction to the history of life in the Middle Ages in Europe. The period known as the Middle Ages is generally considered to be from the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 until, in Europe, the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1543 or, in Britain, the death of Richard III in 1485.

The book is divided into six sections - dynasties and empires; daily life; religion; medieval culture; war and conquest plus dawn of a new age. Although it is only 98 pages, this well illustrated book provides an understanding of what it was like to live in Europe at this time allowing the reader to then explore sections in greater depths in other books.

The chapter, daily life in the Middle Ages looks at feudalism, women in the Middle Ages, the Church in daily life, employment, food, science and technology, medicine plus crisis in the fourteenth century (including plague, famine and general discontent).

This would be a good book for those starting to investigate this period in history, those who may have been able to trace their family tree back to this period or those who enjoy fiction set in medieval times.

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