Charlemagne A Biography

ISBN-10: 0307274802
ISBN-13: 9780307274809
Edition: N/A
Authors: Derek Wilson
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Description: “Every country has its heroes; men and women, part fact, part legend, who exist to explain and reinforce elements of the national psyche. None has been as powerful and influential as Charles the Great.... While the Charlemagne story illuminates some  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 6/12/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

“Every country has its heroes; men and women, part fact, part legend, who exist to explain and reinforce elements of the national psyche. None has been as powerful and influential as Charles the Great.... While the Charlemagne story illuminates some of the grand themes of our shared past, it remains essentially astory—and an adventure story at that.” —fromCharlemagne Charlemagne is seen by historians as the bridge between ancient and modern Europe. His Holy Roman Empire was the embodiment of an ideal that inspired leaders as different as Charles V, Napoleon, and Hitler, each of whom sought to make a unified Europe a reality again in their own times. In this new biography, the first major study of Charlemagne in more than twenty-five years, Derek Wilson provides an absorbing and lively account of his life, character, and accomplishments. Charlemagne transcends every notion we have of the traditional historical hero. A military strategist of Julius Caesar’s caliber, he had no knowledge of classical history. A ruler with the sagacity of Marcus Aurelius, he ordered summary executions more reminiscent of Caligula or Nero. A devout believer who ensured the survival of Christianity in the West, he considered himself above the Church, sired numerous bastard children, and generated accusations of incest. As Wilson describes a Church divided between the Latin West, with its capital in Rome, and the Greek Church of the East, with its capital in Constantinople, we see not only the emergence of Europe but the trials of a Church in flux. The politics of the day were in constant play and were mastered by Charlemagne with cunning and force. By marrying the military might of his army to the spiritual might of the Church in Rome, Charlemagne dominated his world and forged Western Christendom. Written by one of England’s most respected biographers,Charlemagneis a masterful, multidimensional portrait of a great historical figure—a man whose earthly passions were surpassed only by his religious devotion, and whose religious devotion was exceeded only by his will to power.

Popular historian Derek Wilson came to prominence 40 years ago with A Tudor Tapestry. He is the highly acclaimed author of over 50 books and has written and presented numerous television and radio programmes. He lives and writes in Devon.

Illustrations
The Carolingian Dynasty: Selected Genealogy
Timeline: Rise and Fall of the Carolingian Empire
Introduction
Charlemagne the Man
Inheritance
Happy Families
The Milk of a Male Tiger
Enemies Within
Charlemagne the Emperor
Shades of Purple
David and Josiah
Friends and Neighbors
Renaissance and Requiem
Charlemagne the Myth
Sic transit gloria mundi
A Hero for All Seasons
Imperial Fantasies
New Absolutisms for Old
Past Tense and Future Conditional
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index

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