The Age of Pilgrimage

By Jonathan Sumption,

Book cover of The Age of Pilgrimage: The Medieval Journey to God

Book description

Brings alive the history of pilgrimage in Europe

We are apt to forget how much people traveled in the Middle Ages. Not only merchants, friars, soldiers and official messengers, but crowds of pilgrims were a familiar sight on the roads of Western Europe. In this engaging work of history, Jonathan…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Age of Pilgrimage as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

There’re numerous books on medieval pilgrimage, and even though I don’t agree with all of Sumption’s conclusions, I’m recommending this for its readability and fascinating anecdotes and quotations, drawn from contemporary accounts, which were invaluable for my research. It’s informative about both the devout and more worldly travelers, kings, queens, clerics and nobles, and the common people of the day.

One major drawback is that his focus is largely on France and Rome, while Jerusalem, Santiago, and the German pilgrimage sites don’t get the attention they deserve. But this just demonstrates how popular pilgrimage was throughout the Middle Ages and…

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