Charlemagne by Derek Wilson

Links for other biography's of Charlemagne:
http://www.chronique.com/Library/MedHistory/charlemagne.htm

http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96apr/charlemagne.html

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/einhard.html

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/106546/Charlemagne

Link for the book @ publishers Vintage Books--Random House:
http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307274809




Link for the book @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Charlemagne-Vintage-Derek-Wilson/dp/0307274802/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282144964&sr=8-1
Prices: Hardback 18.98, Paperback 10.17, Kindle 9.89

The book I reviewed is paperback and from the public library.



Charlemagne by Derek Wilson published 2007, 256 pages

I had never before been interested in reading about the Middle Ages. I love the Romantic and Victorian Period of history, as well as the time period of The Great Depression and World War II. In the past two weeks I've developed a great interest in the Middle Ages; I am hoping in the near future to read books on The Crusades and the history of the Muslims.
I am reminded of a beloved quote,
"It is books that are a key to the wide world, if you can't do anything else, read all you can."
Jane Hamilton
Books are my key to understanding people--whether from another land or another era.

I am afraid that some readers maybe a little timid about reading this book I am reviewing, they may feel it is too full of dates and college type stuffy material. Oh that is so not the case. I found this book to be extremely interesting, pleasant and enjoyable to read. After reading this one book on Charlemagne and the Middle Ages, I feel more knowledgeable about the people that lived during this period.
The author has breathed life in to a historical character that was born in 742 and died in 814. Charlemagne was the son of the Frank king Pepin; and for a time after his fathers death Charlemagne and his brother Carloman co-ruled until his brothers death at age 20. Charlemagne had long dynasty and he became a man of legend after his death. He was eulogized as the father of Europe. He had several children that he doted on and was protective of, enticing his daughters to continue to live at home even after the age of their ability to marry. He had a perfect blending of intelligence, foresight, wisdom, energy, diplomacy, shrewdness, zeal, and he felt that he was appointed by God. He was considered the ultimate personification in a Christian king. His kingdom was most of western Europe.
In the centuries after Charlemagne's death other historical figures such as Otto III, and Charles VIII and Napoleon, wanted to be Charlemagne reincarnated (his image, power and glory). 
It was not long after his death that his vast kingdom was divided, never again to be under the influence of one king.

I loved this book!
I feel that this is a great read for anyone that is interested in reading about the man and king Charlemagne.  I felt it gave a great history lesson on life in the Middle Ages, the spread of Christianity in western Europe, the Catholic Churches strong influence and yet many of them lived sordid personal lives.
The book touched on the history of Saxons, Lombard's, Byzantine, and Barbarian's. In the final few chapters the author wrote of Charlemagne's influence through the centuries, and a mini history lesson is given up in to the 20th Century.


Blissful Reading!
Annette

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