Books Past

Mar 2017: A Distant Mirror

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara Tuchman

Non-Fiction suggested by Janet

Since “A Distant Mirror” is such a long book, we’ll divide it up. Everyone is going to read the first three chapters and the last chapter. Then each person chooses three middle chapters to read and “report on” to the group. What we want for this “reporting” is just a bit of information on what the chapters are about and a related question raised for discussion.

Janet has the list of which people have which chapters so if you do not yet have your chapters, please contact her to choose your chapters.

from Amazon: Barbara W. Tuchman—the acclaimed author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning classic The Guns of August—once again marshals her gift for character, history, and sparkling prose to compose an astonishing portrait of medieval Europe.

The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering age of crusades, cathedrals, and chivalry; on the other, a world plunged into chaos and spiritual agony. In this revelatory work, Barbara W. Tuchman examines not only the great rhythms of history but the grain and texture of domestic life: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Granting her subjects their loyalties, treacheries, and guilty passions, Tuchman re-creates the lives of proud cardinals, university scholars, grocers and clerks, saints and mystics, lawyers and mercenaries, and, dominating all, the knight—in all his valor and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”