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A Distant Mirror

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Barbara Tuchman proves her talent for seeking out characters at all levels of society in this beautifully repackaged and reissued edition of her grand portrait of 14th-century Europe.

Barbara Tuchman anatomises the 14th century, revealing to us both the great rhythms of history and the grain and texture of domestic life as it was lived: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Here are guilty passions; loyalties and treacheries; political assassinations; sea battles and sieges; fear of the end of the world; corruption in high places and a yearning for reform; satire and humour; sorcery and demonology; lust and sadism on the stage. Here are proud cardinals, beggars, bailiffs, feminists, Jews, university scholars, grocers, bankers, clerks, sorcerers, mercenaries, saints and mystics, lawyers and tax-collectors, and, dominating all, the knight in his valour and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”

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