This is historian Zoë Oldenbourg’s long-awaited masterpiece: an immensely exciting romance, in the highest sense, which has at the same time an unsparingly realistic approach to the Middle Ages. With subtlety and exceptional sensitivity, Oldenbourg analyzes the complicated tangle of currents and ideas that motivated the Crusades.
More than simply a religious phenomenon or a manifestation of pure aggression, the Crusades were the result of a religious climate that led people of all walks of life to leave their homes and follow the unattainable ideal of heaven on earth. Oldenbourg evokes the whole structure of the feudal society and reveals the ingenuity of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. This story is peopled with such great personalities as Bohemond, Tancred, Peter the Hermit, Godfrey of Bouillon, Saladin, and Richard the Lionheart.