A Distant Mirror

The Calamitous 14th Century

By Barbara Wertheim Tuchman
(Random House Trade, Paperback, 9780345349576, 784pp.)

Publication Date: July 12, 1987

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Description
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.
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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."
Praise for "A Distant Mirror"
"Beautifully written, careful and thorough in its scholarship . . . What Ms. Tuchman does superbly is to tell "how "it was. . . . No one has ever done this better."--"The New York Review of Books"
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"A beautiful, extraordinary book . . . Tuchman at the top of her powers . . . She has done nothing finer."--"The Wall Street Journal"
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"Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . a great book, in a great historical tradition.""--Commentary.



About the Author
Barbara W. Tuchman achieved prominence as a historian with "The Zimmermann Telegram "and international fame with "The Guns of August," which won the Pulitzer Prize. There followed five more books: "The Proud Tower," "Stilwell and the American Experience in China" (also awarded the Pulitzer Prize), "A Distant Mirror," "Practicing History," and "The March of Folly," "The First Salute" was Mrs. Tuchman's last book before her death in February 1989.

"From the Paperback edition."

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