King and Emperor

King and Emperor : A New Life of Charlemagne

3.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

'A remarkable book: the dramatic story of a truly extraordinary man ... brilliant' Helen Castor, author of She-Wolves

A major new biography of one of the most extraordinary of all rulers, and the father of present-day Europe

Charles, king of the Franks, is one of the most remarkable figures ever to rule a European super-state. That is why he is so often called by the French 'Charlemagne', and by the Germans 'Karl der Grosse'. His strength of character was felt to be remarkable from early in his long reign. Warfare and accident, vermin and weather have destroyed much of the evidence for his rule in the twelve centuries since his death, but a remarkable amount still survives.

Janet L. Nelson's wonderful new book brings together everything we know about Charlemagne and sifts through the evidence to come as close as we can to understanding the man and his motives. Nelson has an extraordinary knowledge of the sources and much of the book is a sort of detective story, prying into and interpreting fascinating material and often obdurate scraps, from prayerbooks to skeletons, gossip to artwork.

Above all, Charles's legacy lies in his deeds and their continuing resonance, as he shaped duchies and counties, rebuilt and founded towns and monasteries, and consciously set himself up not just as King of the Franks, but as the new 'Emperor governing the Roman Empire'. His successors - in some ways to the present day - have struggled to interpret, misinterpret, copy or subvert Charlemagne's legacy. Nelson gets us as close as we can ever hope to come to the real figure, as understood in his own time.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 704 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 45mm | 1,173g
  • ALLEN LANE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0713992433
  • 9780713992434
  • 23,114

Review quote

Praise for CHARLES THE BALD: A work of importance that is sure to be mulled over for many years to come. * English Historical Review * [The author is] a giant in the field, who knows that myths concerning Charlemagne, which began before his corpse grew cold, are difficult to lay to rest * H-France Review * Professor Dame Janet Nelson has been rather more than just a participant in the recent work on courts, elites and gendered power ... she has been its instigator, or its inspiration. * English Historical Review * Praise for COURTS, ELITES, AND GENDERED POWER IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES: Reconfirms Janet Nelson's role as one of the most important of contemporary voices in both medieval studies and gender history * Early Medieval Europe * An imaginative, deeply thoughtful, often provocative, always important book. -- Geoffrey Koziol, Professor of History at UC Berkeley This is a remarkable book: at once the dramatic story of a truly extraordinary man, and a masterclass in the practice of history from a superlative historian. Janet Nelson's brilliant insight illuminates a world that is both familiar and strange, and full of resonances between past and present. Here - seen through challenging sources, sifted and weighed with wisdom and wit - is everything we can know, twelve centuries on, about the king and emperor called Charlemagne. -- Helen Castor, author of SHE-WOLVES and JOAN OF ARC
show more

About Janet L. Nelson

Janet L. Nelson DBE is Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at King's College London, where she taught for many years. She has written and translated widely on early medieval Europe, her books including Charles the Bald (1992), The Frankish World (1996) and Courts, Elites, and Gendered Power in the Early Middle Ages (2007). She lives in London.
show more

Rating details

2 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 50% (1)
3 50% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X