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The Two Cities; & Carolingian Renewal

By Eric Christiansen | Published in 1992 
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Eric Christiansen reviews two very different books on medieval history
  • The Two Cities: Medieval Europe 1050-1320
    Malcolm Barber – Routledge, 1992 - 581 pp. - £40
  • Carolingian Renewal: Sources And History
    D.A. Bullough - Manchester University Press, 1991 - 343 pp. - £40

Two very different books on medieval history: one for beginners, one for insiders, both at the same price, which is out of the student's reach. The question is not whether to buy them as they are, but as they might be, in paperback.

The much-respected Reading Lecturer Malcolm Barber has chosen the 270 years when Latin medieval civilisation is usually held to have reached some sort of climax (and is actually called 'High' in America), and has bottled much of it in a compendium which 'seeks to explore the medieval mentality in greater depth than could he gained from a conventionaI outline of political events'.

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