A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the by William Manchester

By William Manchester

From stories of chivalrous knights to the barbarity of trial by means of 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 remarkable present for narrative background, William Manchester leads us from a civilization tottering near 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 such a lot stunning villains--the Renaissance.

Using simply secondary resources, Manchester plunges readers into the medieval way of thinking in a charming, marvelously vibrant well known historical past 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 used to be obvious as treachery and "a mafia of profane popes desecrated Christianity." in addition to re-creating the exhausting lives of standard humans, the Wesleyan professor of historical past peoples his tapestry with such figures as Leonardo, Machiavelli, Lucrezia Borgia, Erasmus, Luther, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Manchester ( The hands of Krupp ) devotes a lot consciousness to Magellan, whose globe-straddling voyage shattered Christendom's implicit trust in Europe because the heart of the universe. His portrayal of the center a while as a time while the robust and the intelligent flourished, whereas the inventive, the cerebral and the unlucky suffered, jewelry actual.

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From stories of chivalrous knights to the barbarity of trial through ordeal, no period has been a better resource of awe, horror, and sweetness than the center a while. In handsomely crafted prose, and with the grace and authority of his outstanding present for narrative background, William Manchester leads us from a civilization tottering near to cave in to the grandeur of its rebirth--the dense explosion of strength that spawned a few of history's maximum poets, philosophers, painters, adventurers, and reformers, in addition to a few of its so much superb villains--the Renaissance.

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Page 92 Niccolò Machiavelli. Terra-cotta bust, artist unknown. Alinari/Art Resource, NY. Page 101 Sir Thomas More. Painting by Hans Holbein the Younger. Copyright The Frick Collection, New York. Page 109 Cupola of St. Peter’s. Michelangelo. Alinari/Art Resource, NY. Page 116 Desiderius Erasmus. Painting by Hans Holbein the Younger. Alinari/Art Resource, NY. Page 122 The traffic in indulgences. Detail from woodcut by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1936.

Of course, that does not mean that he or anyone else with whom I consulted is in any way responsible for this volume. Indeed, Professor Boyden took exception to several of my interpretations. Obviously I, and I alone, am answerable for the result. Another oddity of this book is that it was written, so to speak, inside out. Ordinarily a writer does not begin to put words on paper until he knows much he is going to say. Determining how to say it is the last step—the most taxing, to be sure, but one preceded by intricate preparations: conception, research, mastering material, structuring the work.

D. 1500 most of these sovereign dynasties were in place, represented by England’s Henry VII, France’s Louis XII, Russia’s Ivan III, Scandinavia’s John I, Hungary’s Ladislas II, Poland’s John Albert, and Portugal’s Manuel I. Another major player was on the way: in 1492, when the fall of Granada destroyed the last vestiges of Moorish power on the Iberian peninsula, Spaniards completed the long reconquest of their territory. The union of their two chief crowns with the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile laid the foundations for modern Spain; together they began suppressing their fractious vassals.

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