100 books like Norfolk Rood Screens

By Paul Hurst, Jeremy Haselock,

Here are 100 books that Norfolk Rood Screens fans have personally recommended if you like Norfolk Rood Screens. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Medieval Wall Paintings in English & Welsh Churches

Matthew Champion Author Of Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England's Churches

From my list on medieval churches.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you spend as long looking at medieval churches as I do, you also end up collecting a lot of books on the subject. Any church archaeologist cannot help also becoming something of a librarian. A passion for churches - and books. There are hundreds of church guidebooks out there, all of which have their own merits, but these are a small selection of books that look at different aspects of church history. They look at these amazing buildings through a different lens. These aren't a definitive guide - just books that I find myself returning to time and time again - for both information and pleasure.

Matthew's book list on medieval churches

Matthew Champion Why did Matthew love this book?

Today surviving medieval church wall paintings are a bit of a rarity in England, but during the Middle Ages every church, almost without exception, would have been an absolute riot of colour, with saints, angels, and demons battling their way across the walls. What Rosewell's book does is allow you to understand not just what you are seeing, but how and why they were made in the first place. It explains the way in which the pigments were made, who painted them, and even who paid for them. It also contains an absolutely fantastic selection of images, that bring to life just how vibrant the walls of our churches once were. A gem.

By Roger Rosewell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Medieval Wall Paintings in English & Welsh Churches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Highly Commended in the Best Archaeological Book category of the 2008 British Archaeological Awards.

Wall paintings are a unique art form, complementing, and yet distinctly separate from, other religious imageryin churches. Unlike carvings, or stained glass windows, their support was the structure itself, with the artist's "canvas" the very stone and plaster of the church. They were also monumental, often larger than life-size images forpublic audiences. Notwithstanding their dissimilarity from other religious art, wall paintings were also an integral part of church interiors, enhancing devotional imagery and inspiring faith and commitment in their own right, and providing an artistic setting…


Book cover of Seeking Salvation: Commemorating the Dead in the Late-Medieval English Parish

Matthew Champion Author Of Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England's Churches

From my list on medieval churches.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you spend as long looking at medieval churches as I do, you also end up collecting a lot of books on the subject. Any church archaeologist cannot help also becoming something of a librarian. A passion for churches - and books. There are hundreds of church guidebooks out there, all of which have their own merits, but these are a small selection of books that look at different aspects of church history. They look at these amazing buildings through a different lens. These aren't a definitive guide - just books that I find myself returning to time and time again - for both information and pleasure.

Matthew's book list on medieval churches

Matthew Champion Why did Matthew love this book?

Definitely not as grim as the title might suggest. All churches are crammed full of memorials to the dead, and many dozens of books have been written that focus upon the people who lie in these tombs, or beneath the elegant grave slabs. However, sometimes little attention has been given to these memorials themselves, and the craftspeople who made them. This book is the culmination of a lifetime's research and will fascinate anyone who has an interest in church decoration - or dead people.

By Sally Badham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seeking Salvation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Flint Flushwork: A Medieval Masonry Art

Matthew Champion Author Of Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England's Churches

From my list on medieval churches.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you spend as long looking at medieval churches as I do, you also end up collecting a lot of books on the subject. Any church archaeologist cannot help also becoming something of a librarian. A passion for churches - and books. There are hundreds of church guidebooks out there, all of which have their own merits, but these are a small selection of books that look at different aspects of church history. They look at these amazing buildings through a different lens. These aren't a definitive guide - just books that I find myself returning to time and time again - for both information and pleasure.

Matthew's book list on medieval churches

Matthew Champion Why did Matthew love this book?

Stephen Hart spent a lifetime travelling around English churches and was one of the most knowledgeable - and good-natured - individuals I ever had the pleasure to work with. One of his passions was for flushwork - the decorative flint work seen on many English churches, most especially in East Anglia. This book was published towards the end of his career and brings together many of his thoughts and ideas - as well as a fantastic selection of images.

By Stephen Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flint Flushwork as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Flint Flushwork is a wholly external decorative medium, where the skills of medieval craftsman blended with the iconography of the medieval church to create a unique new art form. It is an artistic achievement that is built into the very fabric of many hundreds of medieval churches. As such, many examples of Flushwork survive where more impermanent artworks have succumbed to the ravages of reformation and over-zealous restoration. Despite this, however, ithas not attracted the same depth of research and analysis as other aspects of church architecture.

This book provides a wide perspective on the several different modes of Flushwork…


Book cover of The Archaeology of Churches

Matthew Champion Author Of Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England's Churches

From my list on medieval churches.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you spend as long looking at medieval churches as I do, you also end up collecting a lot of books on the subject. Any church archaeologist cannot help also becoming something of a librarian. A passion for churches - and books. There are hundreds of church guidebooks out there, all of which have their own merits, but these are a small selection of books that look at different aspects of church history. They look at these amazing buildings through a different lens. These aren't a definitive guide - just books that I find myself returning to time and time again - for both information and pleasure.

Matthew's book list on medieval churches

Matthew Champion Why did Matthew love this book?

I love this book, and not just because it is one of the few church archaeology books to mention graffiti. This book takes a very different approach to churches than most volumes you will have come across, as it quite literally strips them back to their bare bones. This is the deep history of the parish church, laid bare in the stones. Rodwell is a recognised expert in his field, and understands churches in ways that few others do - and after reading this you will never look at a medieval church in quite the same way again. 

By Warwick Rodwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Archaeology of Churches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Churches are Britain's most completely surviving class of historic monument. They are also usually the oldest buildings within their settlements. As such, these structures, from parish church to cathedral, from medieval to Georgian, are a huge architectural and archaeological resource.

The last couple of decades have witnessed an unprecedented upsurge of public interest in the historic environment, and the growth of the tourism and 'heritage' industries has focused new attention on churches. While some visitors to churches, cathedrals and monastic ruins seem content to wander around with little or no understanding of what they are looking at, many have an…


Book cover of A Column of Fire

Jim Carr Author Of Yesterdays

From my list on wars over the ages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love history and languages from the first time my school classes opened my eyes to them and it has stayed with me ever since. Learning Latin helped me to understand how these people talked and how they thought and expressed themselves. It didn’t matter what, whether the daily lives of Romans and how they built their empire. It has coloured my thinking, and helped me in writing all my books that take place during the past, whether in Roman life or medieval warfare.

Jim's book list on wars over the ages

Jim Carr Why did Jim love this book?

Like Ken Follett’s other books on medieval England, A Column of Fire is easy to read. The plot runs smoothly and quickly in a way that keeps you glued to the book until you finish it. This time he zeros in on the religious turmoil that gripped Tudor England on the death of Queen Mary. Elizabeth’s ascension was challenged by Catholics who wanted to see Mary, Queen of Scots as the rightful heir to the throne, as well as by the king of Spain, who had another score to settle when he sent a massive armada to conquer England. 

A Column of Fire is a novel but it doesn’t stop Follett, a former journalist with a passion for accuracy, from peeking into the lives of even minor characters into corners I was not aware of. I like Follett’s writing style – easy to read, fast-paced with one new character after…

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Column of Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Absorbing . . . impossible to resist." -The Washington Post

As Europe erupts, can one young spy protect his queen? #1 New York Times bestselling author Ken Follett takes us deep into the treacherous world of powerful monarchs, intrigue, murder, and treason with his magnificent new epic, A Column of Fire.

In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love.

Ned Willard wants nothing more than to…


Book cover of In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages

Tania Bayard Author Of In The Presence of Evil

From my list on a remarkable medieval woman, Christine de Pizan.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an art historian and a horticulturist, specializing in the art, architecture, and gardens of the Middle Ages, and I’ve published a number of books on these subjects. But I’ve always loved mystery stories, and I dreamed of writing one of my own. When I discovered Christine de Pizan, an extraordinary personage who defied all the stereotypes about medieval women, I decided to write a series of mystery novels featuring her as the sleuth.

Tania's book list on a remarkable medieval woman, Christine de Pizan

Tania Bayard Why did Tania love this book?

Hella Haasse’s novel is based on the life of Charles of Orléans, the son of King Charles the VI’s brother, Louis of Orléans. I often refer to this book for inspiration because it so beautifully and poetically evokes life at the French court in the days when Christine de Pizan was a constant presence there.

By Hella S. Haasse,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In a Dark Wood Wandering as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this novel, set in the 15th century during the Hundred Years War between France and England, Hella Haasse brilliantly captures all the drama of one of the great ages of history.


Book cover of The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found

Vivian Nutton Author Of Galen: A Thinking Doctor in Imperial Rome

From my list on Galen and Galenism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vivian Nutton is an emeritus professor of the History of Medicine at UCL and has written extensively on the pre-modern history of medicine. He has lectured around the world and held posts in Cambridge and Moscow as well as the USA. His many books include editions and translations of Galen as well as a major survey of Greek and Roman Medicine, and he is currently writing a history of medicine in the Late Renaissance.

Vivian's book list on Galen and Galenism

Vivian Nutton Why did Vivian love this book?

A lively account of the ways in which the philosophical and medical ideas of the Greeks were transmitted to Rome, the Arab world, and medieval Italy. What Plato, Aristotle and Galen had said was often changed and even lost on the way, and only partially recovered in Renaissance Italy. A vivid reminder of the influence of the Greeks over many centuries.

By Violet Moller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Map of Knowledge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A lovely debut from a gifted young author. Violet Moller brings to life the ways in which knowledge reached us from antiquity to the present day in a book that is as delightful as it is readable.' Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

In The Map of Knowledge Violet Moller traces the journey taken by the ideas of three of the greatest scientists of antiquity - Euclid, Galen and Ptolemy - through seven cities and over a thousand years. In it, we follow them from sixth-century Alexandria to ninth-century Baghdad, from Muslim Cordoba to Catholic Toledo, from Salerno's medieval…


Book cover of Hild

Kate Heartfield Author Of The Valkyrie

From my list on transporting you to a foggy valley in medieval Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated by the way history feels inherently uncanny, as we inhabit the same places as people long dead. I suppose that’s why the novels I write tend to be in historical settings, and they tend to have a speculative twist. For much of my working life, I was a journalist, so I love the research part of writing historical fiction. I tend to be drawn to old stories, and I especially love looking at those stories from angles I haven't seen before. Two of my novels bookend the European Middle Ages: The Valkyrie, set in the 5th century CE, and The Chatelaine, set in the 14th century CE.

Kate's book list on transporting you to a foggy valley in medieval Europe

Kate Heartfield Why did Kate love this book?

I’m a sucker for any story about a real woman in history.

Hild is the story of Hilda of Whitby, whom we meet as a child in 7th-century Britain. It's a novel that revels in language and sensory detail, when it comes to both the natural world and the human one. It is particularly interested in relationships between women.

This novel puts us into the mindset of a girl growing up in an age of political ferment, in the context of a whole set of traditions and stories, and helps us understand why she makes the choices she does.

By Nicola Griffith,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods' priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief. Hild is the king's youngest niece. She has the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world - of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing human nature and predicting what will happen next - that can seem uncanny, even…


Book cover of Western Attitudes toward Death: From the Middle Ages to the Present

Timothy Recuber Author Of The Digital Departed: How We Face Death, Commemorate Life, and Chase Virtual Immortality

From my list on changing your thinking about death and dying.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a sociologist who has just written a book about the ways that we engage with death and dying online, and before that I wrote a book about media coverage of disasters. Macabre subjects have always fascinated me, I guess, not because they are macabre but because they reveal a great deal about the ways we live and our sense of the value of life itself.

Timothy's book list on changing your thinking about death and dying

Timothy Recuber Why did Timothy love this book?

Ariès was a masterful medieval historian, and in this slim volume, based on a series of lectures he gave at Johns Hopkins University, he traced big cultural shifts in the way Western culture has thought about death and dying.

Medieval traditions lauded a so-called “tame death,” in which the dying person calmly accepted their fate, received visitors at home, and directed the rituals and ceremonies that would accompany their impending demise. Death was a normal part of domestic life, witnessed by young and old alike.

This is eventually contrasted with the modern way of dying, in which people die in hospitals, not at home, hidden away from most of a society that has come to believe people need to be shielded from sad and upsetting matters like illness and death. It is a fascinating work of history and a powerful critique of contemporary mores around mortality.     

By Philippe Aries, Patricia Ranum (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Western Attitudes toward Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Reveals the change in Western man's conception and acceptance of death as evidenced in customs, literature, and art since medieval times.


Book cover of Lyonesse Book 1

Martin Ash Author Of The Orb Undreamed

From my list on fantasy that breaks the mould.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a great love of visionary fantasy fiction, metaphysical mystery thrillers, and fiction that doesn’t conform to generic norms, be it novels or film, as well as music and the arts. I’m also passionate about exploring the unknown, the mysteries of the mind, consciousness, and our existence in this unfathomable universe. In that regard, I love to travel. Some of my most recent escapades have included journeys deep into the Peruvian Amazon, Brazil, the Andes, and Mexico, meeting local indigenous folk wherever possible, and participating in shamanic ceremonies and tribal rituals. And lastly, I’m an ardent Formula One fan – something that has not yet featured in my fiction, though it may.

Martin's book list on fantasy that breaks the mould

Martin Ash Why did Martin love this book?

I was instantly transported by this epic saga of high fantasy steeped in legend and myth. The beautiful descriptions of the rugged, dreamlike, and sometimes sinister lands and fabulous otherworld dimensions of the Elder Isles, make Lyonesse an incomparable read. I love Vance’s stunning prose style, his razor-sharp dry humour, and the complexity of his characters. It is boundary-defying fantasy, mercifully devoid of elves, dwarves, and dragons but brimful with intrigues and subplots, unexpected twists, sudden violence, acts of heroism, and scenes of tragedy, love, strangeness, and betrayal. Lyonesse is magic from beginning to end.

By Jack Vance,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lyonesse Book 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Lyonesse sequence evokes the Elder Isles, is a baroque land of pre-Arthurian myth now lost beneath the Atlantic, where powerful sorcerers, aloof faeries, stalwart champions, and nobles eccentric, magnanimous, and cruel pursue intrigue among their separate worlds . . .

Prince Aillas of Troicinet is betrayed on his first diplomatic voyage and cast into the sea. Before he redeems his birthright, he must pass the breadth of Hybras Isle as prisoner, vagabond, and slave, an acquaintance of faeries, wizards, and errant knights, and lover to a sad and beautiful girl whose fate sets his bitter rivalry with the tyrant…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Middle Ages, Europe, and France?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Middle Ages, Europe, and France.

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