SUGGESTIONS FOR READING BY CLUB MEMBERS

THE GREATEST KNIGHT
William Marshal is a poor knight for whom nothing is going quite right. William saves the life of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and is appointed tutor to Prince Henry, the volatile heir to the English throne. Suddenly a royal favorite, William must navigate a difficult world in which danger and jealousy are commonplace, in order to solidify his career and bring honor to himself and his family. Marshal, who actually existed, has been nicknamed “The Greatest Knight” by historians. He’s thought to hav
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’
Mark Twain’s classic A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is one of the best known, and most beloved, historical novels about the Middle Ages. It was also one of the first books to explore the concept of time traveling. When a typical Connecticut yankee is hit in the head during a brawl, he wakes up to find himself in the court of King Arthur. Over the course of an entertaining and humorous plot, the yankee attempts to industrialize and Americanize 6th-century England.
COMPANY OF LIARS
In Company of Liars, author Karen Maitland brings to life the dangerous and terrifying world of England in 1348. Nine travelers, brought together by nothing more than chance and luck, each have something to hide. Part Canterbury Tales and part The Decameron, Company of Liars is an edge-your-seat medieval mystery with a thrilling ending.
THE CATHEDRAL OF THE SEA
Ildefonso Falcones’ The Cathedral of the Sea is often called the Spanish The Pillars of the Earth. This international bestseller is set in Barcelona during the 14th century. It tells the story of Arnau Estanyol, who comes to Barcelona in an attempt to gain his freedom. Arnau joins the powerful stone-workers guild and contributes his skills to the construction of the titular cathedral. Things become complicated, however, when Arnau falls in love with a forbidden woman and is called in front of th
BLOOD AND BEAUTY
Author Sarah Dunant is best known for her books about the Italian Renaissance. But her novel Blood and Beauty proves Dunant is just as appealing with medieval matters. Blood and Beauty is the story of the infamous Borgias: Cardinal Rodrigo, who buys his way into the papacy of the Catholic Church; Cesare, Rodrigo’s intelligent, but cold, son; and Lucrezia, the daughter tragically used as a political pawn.
THE ARCHER'S TALE
The Archer’s Tale kicks off Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling Grail Series. The book introduces a young archer named Thomas and his harrowing survival of a brutal raid on his village. We follow his journey through France and the Holy Land on his search for the Holy Grail.
AGINCOURT
There is a good reason why Bernard Cornwell has been declared the “reigning king of historical fiction” (USA Today). After all, he is the author of two books on our list of great historical novels about the Middle Ages. In Agincourt Cornwell reimagines the epic battle in which Henry V of England defeated the French with English determination and the debut of the longbow.
THE STORY OF THE MIDDLE AGES
This Unique and valuable book tells the history of the Middle Ages in an understandable and entertaining fashion. It helps the reader to understand the influence of the Middle Ages on Modern times. We follow Harding as he guides us through the rise of the Christian church, Feudalism, Charlemagne, the Crusades, and the Hundred Years’ War. Harding also takes great care to describe the daily lives …
VLAD THE IMPALER
Includes pictures of Vlad and important people and places in his life.
Includes historical accounts that describe Vlad the Impaler and his notorious rule.
Discusses the authenticity of the accounts accusing Vlad of impaling tens of thousands and his other infamous misdeeds
Analyzes Vlad’s legacy and his association with Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

“And then he put many people on spinning wheels and …
GROWING UP IN THE MIDDLE AGES
Dangerous and difficult for both mother and child--what was the birth experience like in the Middle Ages? Dependent, in part, on social class, what pastimes did children enjoy? What games did they play? With often uncomfortable and even harsh living conditions, what kind of care did children receive in the home on a daily basis? These are just a few of the questions this work addresses about the …
SECRET SOCIETIES OF THE MIDDLE AGES
Secret Societies of the Middle Ages explores the foundations of modern secret societies, examining the history and known facts of three very different organizations.

1. The Assassins of the Middle East-how they evolved from an Islamic religious sect into one of the most feared groups in all the world and how the very name of this ancient order became the word used for political killings of this …
EUROPE IN THE HIGH MIDDLES AGES
It was an age of hope and possibility, of accomplishment and expansion. Europe’s High Middle Ages spanned the Crusades, the building of Chartres Cathedral, Dante’s Inferno, and Thomas Aquinas. Buoyant, confident, creative, the era seemed to be flowering into a true renaissance-until the …
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLES AGES
Reissued for the first time in decades, this ambitious work of Medieval scholarship by bestselling historians Frances and Joseph Gies traces the stories and fates of women in Medieval Europe over the course of a millennium.

Medieval history is often written as a series of battles and territorial shifts. But the essential contributions of women during this period have been too often relegated to …
MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY AGES
A compelling, lucid, and highly readable chronicle of medieval life written by the authors of the bestselling Life in a Medieval Castle and Life in a Medieval City

Historians have only recently awakened to the importance of the family, the basic social unit throughout human history. This book traces the development of marriage and the family from the Middle Ages to the early modern era. It …
THE POSTCOLONIAL MIDDLE AGES
An increased awareness of the importance of minority and subjugated voices to the histories and narratives, which have previously excluded them, has led to a wide-spread interest in the effects of colonization and displacement. This collection of essays is the first to apply postcolonial theory to the Middle Ages, and to critique that theory through the excavation of a distant past.
SEX, MONSTERS, AND THE MIDDLE AGES
A psychoanalytic look at the representation of monsters, giants, and masculinity in medieval texts. The phenomenon of giants and giant-slaying appear in various texts from the Anglo-Saxon to late Middle English period, including Beowulf, The Knight and the Lion, History of the Kings of Britain and several of Chaucer’s books.
Northern-Crusades
The “Northern Crusades,” inspired by the Pope’s call for a Holy War, are less celebrated than those in the Middle East, but they were also more successful: vast new territories became and remain Christian, such as Finland, Estonia, and Prussia. Newly revised in the light of the recent developments in Baltic and Northern medieval research, this authoritative overview provides a balanced and compelling account of a tumultuous era.
THE NAME OF THE ROSE
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon - all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity...
THE MIDDLE AGE
Between the Fall of Rome and the Renaissance were the Middle Ages. Once seen as a thousand years of warfare, religious infighting, and cultural stagnation, they are now understood to be the vital connection between the past and the present. Along with the battles that helped shape the modern world are a rich heritage of architecture, arts, and literature, of empire and its dissolution. It was the …
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