Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom
Little, Brown Book Group, 21 avr. 2011 - 512 pages
Of all the civilisations existing in the year 1000, that of Western Europe seemed the unlikeliest candidate for future greatness. Compared to the glittering empires of Byzantium or Islam, the splintered kingdoms on the edge of the Atlantic appeared impoverished, fearful and backward. But the anarchy of these years proved to be, not the portents of the end of the world, as many Christians had dreaded, but rather the birthpangs of a radical new order. MILLENNIUM is a stunning panoramic account of the two centuries on either side of the apocalyptic year 1000. This was the age of Canute, William the Conqueror and Pope Gregory VII, of Vikings, monks and serfs, of the earliest castles and the invention of knighthood, and of the primal conflict between church and state. The story of how the distinctive culture of Europe - restless, creative and dynamic - was forged from out of the convulsions of these extraordinary times is as fascinating and as momentous as any in history.
Avis des internautes - Rédiger un commentaire
Avis des utilisateurs
LibraryThing ReviewAvis d'utilisateur - LibraryThing
A classic example of the 'don't expect Barolo when you're drinking Vinho Verde' class; this is airplane history and as such quite successful- easy to read and rollicking tales, backed up by little analysis and couched as a tendentious and quite frankly pointless 'argument.' All you need to know about this book can be learned from the titles: in Australia and the UK, it's called 'Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom.' In the U.S., it's called 'The Forge of Christendom: The End of Days and the Epic Rise of the West.' Why change the title like that? Is it about Millennarian tension? Is it about something called 'The West,' whatever that might be? Is it about the forging of Christendom (i.e., the creation of it) or Christendom's forge (where, presumably, Christendom makes things?) No. The only reason to read this book is to meet or meet again fabulous characters like Robert Guiscard, the Ottonians, William the Conqueror and Matilda of Tuscany. Read as such, it's fun, despite the lip-curling cliches (how many times can we be told that someone is a chip off the old block?) Expect that, and have some fun- with a great bibliography attached. On the other hand, if you're expecting history that will explain why things happen, or that gets details correct, or that will debunk rather than reinforce hoary legends, this will taste like really bad soft drink. Expect a lightly fizzy white wine, on the other hand, and it'll cool you off pleasantly.
Review: Millennium the End of the World and the Forging of ChristendomAvis d'utilisateur - Goodreads
The time period is interesting and Holland illuminates it well. I like Holland's writing - accessible history based on the narrative. Focusing on certain figures and running for a chapter or two ...