David Hume, the eighteenth century philosopher, famously declared that 'the crusades engrossed the attention of Europe and have ever since engaged the curiosity of man kind'. This is the first book length study of how succeeding generations from the First Crusade in 1099 to the present day have understood, refashioned, moulded and manipulated accounts of these medieval wars of religion to suit changing contemporary circumstances and interests. The crusades have attracted some of the leading historical writers, scholars and controversialists from John Foxe (of Book of Martyrs fame), to the philosophers G.W. Leibniz, Voltaire and David Hume, to historians such as William Robertson, Edward Gibbon and Leopold Ranke.
Accessibly written, a history of histories and historians, the book will be of interest to students and researchers of crusading history from sixth form to postgraduate level and beyond and to cultural historians of the use of the past and of medievalism.
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Christopher Tyerman, MA, DPhil, FRHistS, is a Fellow and Tutor in History at Hertford College, Oxford and a Lecturer in Medieval History at New College, Oxford
"This is criticism at its bravest....Summing up: Essential."
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