Exciting new additions to the Library have arrived in June:
Fighting for the Cross by Norman Housley
In a series of massive military undertakings that stretched from 1095 to 1291, Christendom's armies won, defended, and lost the sacred sites of the Holy Land. This book recreates the experience of crusading, from the elation of taking up the cross to the difficult adjustments at home when the war was over.
This book features the most authoritative accounts available of the Holy Wars: Villehardouin's "Conquest of Constantinople" and Joinville's "Chronicle of the Crusade of St. Lewis."
Byzantium by Judith Herrin
For a thousand years, an extraordinary empire made possible Europe's transition to the modern world: Byzantium. This book provides various short chapters that focus on a theme, such as a building (the great church of Hagia Sophia), a clash over religion (iconoclasm), sex and power (the role of eunuchs), and a symbol of civilization (the fork).
The Queen's Agent by John Cooper
Elizabeth I came to the throne at a time of insecurity and unrest. Spain plotted an invasion, but Elizabeth's Secretary, Francis Walsingham, was prepared to do whatever it took to protect her. This title tells the story of a man devoted to his queen, sacrificing his every waking hour to save the threatened English state.
Famous Women by Giovanni Boccaccio
This collection of biographies in Western literature is devoted to women. It affords a glimpse of a moment in history when mediaeval attitudes toward women were beginning to give way to more modern views of their potential.
A major study of women and the medieval Irish church, this book includes ground-breaking investigations of medieval nunneries in Ireland, their personnel, patrons, buildings and estates and their strategies for ensuring the productivity of their resources. The author argues for the existence of close ties between the supposedly cloistered nuns and the surrounding lay communities.
Downfall of the Crusader Kingdom by W. B. Bartlett
W.B. Bartlett brings to life the bitter infighting and political battles which ultimately led to the disaster at Hattin and the downfall of the Crusader kingdom.
The Normans in Europe by Arthur Henry Johnson
The sword and the cross The Normans (or Northmen) forged an empire that lasted four hundred years. Though principally known for their seat of power in Normandy, they originated from Viking stock and at the height of their supremacy had made their influence felt throughout Europe and into the Middle East.
The Queen who became a Saint Born in 1045 in Hungary, Margaret was the daughter of an English Prince, Edward the Exile. She returned to Britain in 1057 when the childless Edward the Confessor required a successor because her father and subsequently her brother were considered to be legitimate heirs to the English throne.
The Alexiad by Anna Comnena
"The Alexiad" was written around the year 1148 by Anna Comnena, daughter of Emperor Alexius I. Often considered the first major female historian, Anna Comnena studied philosophy and history extensively, subjects which lent themselves to her very thorough examination of the political and military history of the Byzantine Empire. (Finally have my own copy!)
The Norman Conquest by Marc Morris
An upstart French duke who sets out to conquer the most powerful and unified kingdom in Christendom. It is an invasion force on a scale not seen since the days of the Romans. One of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever fought. This book explains why the Norman Conquest was the single most important event in English history. (Have Marc's book on Edward I, so this will make interesting reading.)