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Synopsis

The five hundred years that separate the mid-tenth century from the mid-15th century constitute a critical and formative period in the history of Europe.

This was the age of the system of legal and military obligation known as "feudalism," and of the birth and consolidation of powerful kingdoms in England, France and Spain; it was an era of urbanization and the expansion of trade, of the building of the great Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals, of courtly romance and the art of the troubadour, and of the founding of celebrated seats of learning in Paris, Oxford and Bologna. But it was also an epoch characterized by brutal military adventure in the launching of armed pilgrimages to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim control, of the brutal dynastic conflict of the Hundred Years' War and of the devastating pandemic of the Black Death.

In a sequence of scholarly but accessible articles--accompanied by an array of beautiful and authentic images of the era, plus timelines, maps, boxed features and display quotes--distinguished historian Hywel Williams sheds revelatory light on every aspect of a rich and complex period of European history.

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