A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a dense book, filled with engaging detail and information of life in the 14th Century. Tuchman states that people lived under such a different situation from modern times that their world seems alien. After reading this book, I couldn't agree more.
While I've read some books on this period of history, none were as comprehensive as "A Distant Mirror." There's a lot of ground covered: politics, military, religion, society, and science to name the larger areas covered. Tuchman weaves all this together in a fascinating narrative that makes the pages turn. I will definitely read this one again. One pass is hardly enough to absorb what was presented.
If you have any interest in the 14th Century, The Hundred Years War, the Black Plague, or just knights in shining armor (which won't be so shinny after you read this book), then read "A Distant Mirror." You will not find a better and more accessible book on the topic.
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PS: While I know that this blog focuses on miniature gaming, I like to share my reviews of books that I post on Goodreads. I'll only post up reviews that relate to gaming in some way. For this book, I know a lot of gamers have an interest in the Middle Ages due to historical or fantasy games. So I posted this review. I won't be doing this for every book I read. Just what seems to fit here. If you have an opinion one way or the other, let me know in the comments.