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The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe


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About the Editor:
George Holmes is a Fellow of St. Catherine's College, Oxford. His previous books include Dante and Florence, Rome, and the Origins of the Renaissance.


Holmes et al. have produced an attractive account of medieval Europe from the fall of Rome to the eve of the Reformation. This popular history, well-written by professional historians, is for the intelligent general reader. The book conveys a good sense of the movement of events and the succession of great people, and it catches the economic, social, and intellectual structures which underpinned events. Noteworthy among the well-conceived chapters is Malcolm Vale's discussion of ``the eclipse of ecclesiastical power . . . especially papal power . . . and the expansion and elaboration of secular rule.'' Holmes concludes that this fragmented era laid the groundwork for the fertile period that followed. Maps, charts, and illustrations deserve high praise. Highly recommended. David Keymer, CUNY Coll. of Technology, Utica

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