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A World Lit Only by Fire : The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age
A World Lit Only by Fire The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age
Author: William Manchester
From tales of chivalrous knights to the barbarity of trial by ordeal, no era has been a greater source of awe, horror, and wonder than the Middle Ages. In handsomely crafted prose, and with the grace and authority of his extraordinary gift for narrative history, William Manchester leads us from a civilization tottering on the brink of collapse t...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780316545563
ISBN-10: 0316545562
Publication Date: 6/1/1993
Pages: 336
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 74

3.7 stars, based on 74 ratings
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed A World Lit Only by Fire : The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a wonderful book about the Middle Ages, well written and comprehensive. If you are interested in books about medieval times, I would also suggest Sea of Faith by Stephen O'Shea and Mysteries of the medeval World by Thomas Cahill. (All non-fiction)
reviewed A World Lit Only by Fire : The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age on + 141 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
For the reader who has good foundation in Medieval and Renaissance history. This is an interesting book because aside from accurate historical details about events, William Manchester also tells us about the more mundane and everyday details of the lives of the peasants, clergy and nobility. It is such an age of deceit and brutality and doesn't deserve the name of "AGe of Chivalry". Genny
reviewed A World Lit Only by Fire : The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
It was a bit more scholarly than I expected based on the other reviews. Not too hard, just a bit "thick" for enjoyment reading. However I learned a lot and there were many interesting factoids about daily life during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I enjoyed those bits more than the many discussions of historical figures that neither I nor probably 99% of readers have heard of. As stated, good but a bit dense.
reviewed A World Lit Only by Fire : The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very good book. A lot about the Church and how it operated. Also provided a good idea of the hold the Church had on the "civilized" populace.
hazeleyes avatar reviewed A World Lit Only by Fire : The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age on + 331 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Thank heaven William Manchester wrote this book, which brought the Middle Ages and Renaissance alive for me. I loved the book, and it has informed all my historical study since then.
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Capitana avatar reviewed A World Lit Only by Fire : The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age on + 6 more book reviews
This book was quite interesting, but I found so many factual errors in the areas I know best from 55 years of study that I can't vouch for the areas I know less well.
levyk27 avatar reviewed A World Lit Only by Fire : The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age on + 2 more book reviews
Tabloid style popular history, written by an academic tourist - not a serious Medieval or Renaissance scholar. Brain candy. I lost patience with it after a few chapters.
reviewed A World Lit Only by Fire : The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age on + 157 more book reviews
I really enjoyed the parts of this book that I enjoyed, and seriously questioned the parts that I found raised too many questions in my mind about the author's credibility and methods of research. I will say that near the end, I was lying in bed wondering how Magellan would handle things before he died, and I think that is testimonial that much of this book was well written. The whole thing with Erasmus was a page turner for me. The Luther part went on a bit much and made me wonder what parts of the same time period we were glossing over so we could concentrate on Luther. Not that he isn't exceptionally significant...but he got the lion's share of the author's attention. Tyndale, who I really hoped to read more about, only got a few sentences. It's an example of how I wondered at the methods the author used to determine which aspects of the middle ages he would focus on. But then, that is part of the fun of personal research. I want to go read more on the questions raised.
I should also comment here on the way some modern researchers seem to obsess about the sex of the time period they're researching. Not so much the sexual mores, unless it's to prove a Christian person as a hypocrite as though there are no other such hypocrites, but the sex. This was not only unevenly dealt with in this book, but used as a wedge to forcibly prove some assumption of the author's. It was distasteful.


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