'Original, fast-paced...history at its best' Kate Mosse, author of Sepulchre
'Phillips delivers an excellent, compelling, flamboyant and refreshing history of the crusades and wonderful character sketches' Simon Sebag Montefoire, Financial Times
'A totally absorbing and magnificent history' Boris Johnson, Mail on Sunday
Holy war: Christianity versus Islam. Brutality, greed, honour, chivalry, the clink of chain mail, the clatter of hooves, the call of the muezzin. Such are the stereotypical images of the Crusades. But how will do they fit with the reality?
In his remarkable book, Jonathan Phillips explores the conflict of ideas, beliefs and cultures and shows both the contradictions and diversity of holy war. He draws on contemporary writings - on chronicles, songs, sermons, travel diaries and peace treaties - to throw a brilliant new light on people and events we thought we knew well. Although the notion of fighting for one's faith fell into disrepute in the Enlightenment, Phillips traces the crusading impulse from the bloody conquest of Jerusalem in the First Crusade and the titanic struggle between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin up to the present day - to George W. Bush's characterisation of the war on terrorism as a crusade.
'Very readable. Its skilful and detailed use of source material serves as a showcase of what is being done in this, the most intensively studied area of medieval historiography' Literary Reviewshow more