10 books like The Merovingian Kingdoms 450 - 751

By Ian Wood,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Merovingian Kingdoms 450 - 751. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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France Since 1945

By Robert Gildea,

Book cover of France Since 1945

The leading British interpreter of French history from 1940 produced this valuable guide to a period of major transformation in French history. Gildea has cogently argued that French politics reflects long-lasting divisions that play out in different mileux.

France Since 1945

By Robert Gildea,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked France Since 1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The last fifty years of French history have seen immense challenges for the French: constructing a new European order, building a modern economy, searching for a stable political system. It has also been a time of anxiety and doubt. The French have had to come to terms with the legacy of the German Occupation, the loss of Empire, the political and social implications of the influx of foreign immigrants, the rise of Islam, the destruction of rural life, and the threat
of Anglo-American culture to French language and civilization.
Robert Gildea's account examines the French political system and France's role…


Paris

By Colin Jones,

Book cover of Paris: The Biography of a City

The subtitle Biography of a City disarmingly conceals the author’s success in telling the story of Paris while connecting it with the history of France as a whole. This history skilfully threads together the construction and growth of Paris as a city with its politics, its everyday life, and the humanity that has populated its streets and neighbourhoods. This is above all a well-paced narrative that captures the evolution of the city and its people – in turns turbulent, cultured, contentious, and refined.

Paris

By Colin Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the Roman Emperor Julian, who waxed rhapsodic about Parisian wine and figs, to Henry Miller, who relished its seductive bohemia, Paris has been a perennial source of fascination for 2,000 years. In this definitive and illuminating history, Colin Jones walks us through the city that was a plague-infested charnel house during the Middle Ages, the bloody epicenter of the French Revolution, the muse of nineteenth-century Impressionist painters, and much more. Jones's masterful narrative is enhanced by numerous photographs and feature boxes-on the Bastille or Josephine Baker, for instance-that complete a colorful and comprehensive portrait of a place that has…


The Oxford History of the French Revolution

By William Doyle,

Book cover of The Oxford History of the French Revolution

Bill Doyle is the leading British interpreter of the French Revolution and this is a subtle account of its causes and course. Very good on the need to look for specific political causes rather than any supposedly inevitable pattern of socio-economic conflict.

The Oxford History of the French Revolution

By William Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oxford History of the French Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since its first publication to mark the bicentenary of the French Revolution in 1989, this Oxford History has established itself as the Revolution's most authoritative and comprehensive one-volume history in English, and has recently been translated into Chinese. Running from the accession of Louis XVI in 1774, it traces the history of France through revolution, terror, and counter-revolution to the final triumph of Napoleon in 1802. It also analyses the impact of
events in France upon the rest of Europe and the world beyond. The study shows how a movement which began with optimism and general enthusiasm soon became a…


The Valois

By Robert Knecht,

Book cover of The Valois: Kings of France 1328-1589

A scholarly account of the family that ruled France from 1328 to 1589. Knecht concentrates on the high politics, but his book is a valuable linkage of the Middle Ages and the early-modern age, taking readers from the Hundred Years’ War to the French Wars of Religion. France’s bloody history emerges clearly.

The Valois

By Robert Knecht,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The house of Valois ruled France for 250 years, playing a crucial role in its establishment as a major European power. When Philip VI came to the throne, in 1328, France was a weak country, with much of its modern area under English rule. Victory in the Hundred Years' War, and the acquisition of Brittany and much of Burgundy, combined with a large population and taxable wealth, made the France of Francis I the only power in Europe capable of rivalling the empire of Charles V. Francis displayed his power by spectacular artistic patronage and aggressive foreign wars. Following the…


The Inheritance of Rome

By Chris Wickham,

Book cover of The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages, 400-1000

Another synthesis of the ‘Dark Ages’ Europe, this one from the Penguin History series. An easy, but thorough read, painting a broad canvas from Ireland to Byzantium, and from the last days of Rome to the last days of Anglo-Saxon England, shines the light on the centuries that, while still seen as shrouded in the darkness of violence and barbarism, are in fact the true cradle of the European civilization as we know it today.

The Inheritance of Rome

By Chris Wickham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The breath  of reading is astounding, the knowledge displayed is awe-inspiring and the attention quietly given to critical theory and the postmodern questioning of evidence is both careful and sincere."--The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"A superlative work of historical scholarship."--Literary Review (UK)

A unique and enlightening look at Europe's so-called Dark Ages; the second volume in the Penguin History of Europe

Defying the conventional Dark Ages view of European history between A.D. 400 and 1000, award-winning historian Chris Wickham presents The Inheritance of Rome, a work of remarkable scope and rigorous yet accessible scholarship. Drawing on a wealth of new material…


Empires and Barbarians

By Peter Heather,

Book cover of Empires and Barbarians: The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe

Peter Heather’s work is one of the broadest in scope on the topic of the European ‘Barbarians’, while still retaining enough detail to keep the reader’s attention pinned. A great starter for this period of history, encompassing the entire first millennium AD, the time when the heart of European civilization gradually moved from the Mediterranean South to the cold Barbarian North. It reads like a novel – but is supported by years of painstaking research. If you can only read one book on Barbarian Europe, this is the book.

Empires and Barbarians

By Peter Heather,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At the start of the first millennium AD, southern and western Europe formed part of the Mediterranean-based Roman Empire, the largest state western Eurasia has ever known, and was set firmly on a trajectory towards towns, writing, mosaics, and central heating. Central, northern and eastern Europe was home to subsistence farmers, living in wooden houses with mud floors, whose largest political units weighed in at no more than a few thousand people. By the year 1000, Mediterranean domination of the European landscape had been destroyed. Instead of one huge Empire facing loosely organised subsistence farmers, Europe - from the Atlantic…


The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples

By Herwig Wolfram, Thomas Dunlap (translator),

Book cover of The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples

Herwig Wolfram is the Grand Master of Germanic history. His mighty History of the Goths is a work cited perhaps more than any other by any author writing about this period, and its influence of study of Early Middle Ages is unparalleled. But History of the Goths is a heavy, dense, scholarly work, and not easy to find these days. The Roman Empire is a more popular synthesis, focusing not just on Goths, but on all Late Antiquity Germanic tribes – Franks, Burgundians, Saxons, and others – providing a rich view of the barbarians from the perspective of their Roman neighbours. 

The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples

By Herwig Wolfram, Thomas Dunlap (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The names of early Germanic warrior tribes and leaders resound in songs and legends; the real story of the part they played in reshaping the ancient world is no less gripping. Herwig Wolfram's panoramic history spans the great migrations of the Germanic peoples and the rise and fall of their kingdoms between the third and eighth centuries, as they invaded, settled in, and ultimately transformed the Roman Empire. As Germanic military kings and their fighting bands created kingdoms, and won political and military recognition from imperial governments through alternating confrontation and accommodation, the 'tribes' lost their shared culture and social…


The Darkening Age

By Catherine Nixey,

Book cover of The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

You can’t overstate the impact of religion on this tumultuous period. The transition from paganism to Christianity not only coincided with, but greatly impacted everything that happened in early medieval Europe. Catherine Nixey’s controversial book focuses on that transition and shows it in full, gory detail – the violence it spurned, and the destruction it caused to the ancient culture that preceded the onset of Christianity. A necessary read for understanding the full picture of the 4th and 5th centuries in Europe.

The Darkening Age

By Catherine Nixey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey tells the little-known - and deeply shocking - story of how a militant religion deliberately tried to extinguish the teachings of the Classical world, ushering in unquestioning adherence to the 'one true faith'.

The Roman Empire had been generous in embracing and absorbing new creeds. But with the coming of Christianity, everything changed. This new faith, despite preaching peace, was violent, ruthless and intolerant. And once it became the religion of empire, its zealous adherents set about the destruction of the old gods. Their altars were upturned, their temples demolished and their statues hacked…


Queens, Concubines, and Dowagers

By Pauline Stafford,

Book cover of Queens, Concubines, and Dowagers: The King's Wife in the Early Middle Ages

Last, but certainly not least, Queens, Concubines, and Dowagers was a book that helped formed the field of queenship studies, now a booming industry. Stafford teaches us how to think about the meaning of queenship, the sources and limits of the queen’s power, and the evolution of her office; she tells the stories of a number of remarkable early medieval women along the way in what is now England, France, and Germany. Deeply influential for me as I sought ways to think about queenship in later periods, this book remains widely available, accessible, and influential.

Queens, Concubines, and Dowagers

By Pauline Stafford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Queens, Concubines, and Dowagers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A biography of the queens and royal bedfellows of the 6th to the 11th centuries, providing an assessment of their political importance and the many factors that affected their personal lives.


The Occitan War

By Laurence W. Marvin,

Book cover of The Occitan War: A Military and Political History of the Albigensian Crusade, 1209–1218

Not all crusades were concerned with Jerusalem. This book is the best military account of crusading within Christendom: the war against the so-called Cathar heretics in Languedoc (today, southern France). Launched by Pope Innocent III in the early thirteenth century, the crusade drew in an assortment of European elites, including Simon de Montfort and King Peter II of Aragon, who fought battles, raided territories, and dealt with heretic insurgents in a struggle over both territorial rights and confessional orthodoxy. Marvin’s operational and tactical analysis of the campaigns during the crusade provides a needed complement to more conventional social and religious approaches to the subject of heresy.

The Occitan War

By Laurence W. Marvin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1209 Simon of Montfort led a war against the Cathars of Languedoc after Pope Innocent III preached a crusade condemning them as heretics. The suppression of heresy became a pretext for a vicious war that remains largely unstudied as a military conflict. Laurence Marvin here examines the Albigensian Crusade as military and political history rather than religious history and traces these dimensions of the conflict through to Montfort's death in 1218. He shows how Montfort experienced military success in spite of a hostile populace, impossible military targets, armies that dissolved every forty days, and a pope who often failed…


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