By William Manchester
From stories of chivalrous knights to the barbarity of trial via ordeal, no period has been a better resource of awe, horror, and beauty than the center a long time. In handsomely crafted prose, and with the grace and authority of his striking present for narrative historical past, William Manchester leads us from a civilization tottering close to cave in to the grandeur of its rebirth--the dense explosion of power that spawned a few of history's maximum poets, philosophers, painters, adventurers, and reformers, in addition to a few of its so much striking villains--the Renaissance.
Using merely secondary resources, Manchester plunges readers into the medieval frame of mind in a charming, marvelously bright well known background that humanizes the tumultuous span from the darkish a long time to the sunrise of the Renaissance. He delineates an age while invisible spirits infested the air, whilst tolerance was once obvious as treachery and "a mafia of profane popes desecrated Christianity." along with re-creating the onerous lives of normal humans, the Wesleyan professor of heritage peoples his tapestry with such figures as Leonardo, Machiavelli, Lucrezia Borgia, Erasmus, Luther, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Manchester ( The palms of Krupp ) devotes a lot cognizance to Magellan, whose globe-straddling voyage shattered Christendom's implicit trust in Europe because the middle of the universe. His portrayal of the center a long time as a time while the robust and the sensible flourished, whereas the ingenious, the cerebral and the unlucky suffered, earrings actual.
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Additional info for A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age
Kennedy’s presidential administration, four developments appeared to be unrelated —America’s humiliation at the Bay of Pigs in April, Kennedy’s confrontation with Nikita Khrushchev in Austria six weeks later, the raising of the Berlin Wall in August, and, in December, the first commitment of American ground troops to Indochina. Yet each event had led to the next. Khrushchev saw the Cuban fiasco as evidence that the young president was weak. Therefore he bullied him in Vienna. In the mistaken belief that he had intimidated him there, he built the Wall.
In his writings Gregory portrayed his protégé as a heroic general whose triumphs were attributable to divine guidance. He proudly set down an account of how the chief dealt with a Frankish warrior who, during a division of tribal booty at Soissons, had wantonly swung his ax and smashed a vase. As it happened, the broken pottery had been Church property and much cherished by the bishop. Clovis knew that. ” Medieval Christians, knowing the other cheek would be bloodied, did not turn it. Death was the prescribed penalty for hundreds of offenses, particularly those against property.
The early sixteenth century was not entirely new to me. Its major figures, their wars, the Renaissance, the religious revolution, the voyages of exploration—with all these I had the general familiarity of an educated man. I could have drawn a reasonably accurate freehand map of Europe as it was then, provided I wasn’t expected to get the borders of all the German states exactly right. But I had no sense of the spirit of the time. Its idioms fell strangely on my ear. I didn’t know enough to put myself back there—to see it, hear it, feel it, even smell it—and because I had never pondered the minutiae of that age, I had no grasp of the way the webs of action were spun out, how each event led inexorably to another, then another … Yet I knew from experience that such chains of circumstance are always there, awaiting discovery.
A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age by William Manchester