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New Medieval Books: Biographies

An emperor, an admiral, a poet, a rebel, and five princesses – new biographies about people from the medieval world.

Roman Emperor Zeno: The Perils of Power Politics in Fifth-century Constantinople

By Peter Crawford

Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978 1 47385 924 1

Excerpt: Not only is there a personal interest in the emperor on the throne when the West fell, but Zeno was also one of the few Roman emperors to be forcibly removed from the throne only to regain it. His very (adopted) name, while recognisably Greek, has a strange, almost other-worldy feel to it in the English-speaking world. Perhaps it is the unfamiliar ‘Z’ in the name of a Roman emperor that seems a little more exotic?

To learn more about the book, please visit the publisher’s website

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Daughters of Chivalry: The Forgotten Children of Edward I

By Kelcey Wilson-Lee

Picador
ISBN: 978-1-5098-4789-1

Excerpt: This is the forgotten story of Eleanora and Joanna, and of their three sisters who would be born after their father became king – Margaret, Mary, and Elizabeth. Thirteen years separated the births of the eldest and youngest royal daughters – an age gap that ensured the women had distinct experiences and that the relationships that forged their adult personalities and priorities were distinct. What they shared with each other and their brothers were the ways in which their childhoods and – to a remarkable extent – their adult lives were shaped by their father’s ambition to build an empire.

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Roger of Lauria (c.1250 – 1305): ‘Admiral of Admirals’

By Charles D. Stanton

The Boydell Press
ISBN: 978-1-78327-453-6

Excerpt:… it should be apparent that the story of Roger of Lauria is largely the story of the Sicilian Vespers. The two tales are entwined; it is impossible to tell one without recounting the other. The major events and primary players of a conflict that affected nearly every part of the Mediterranean world in the course of twenty years must, of necessity, form the context for this chronological narrative of an exceptional life.

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Aisha al-Ba’uniyya: A Life in Praise of Love

By Th. Emil Homerin

Oneworld Academic
ISBN: 978-1-78607-610-6

Excerpt: I discovered that she was one of the very few women in premodern history to have written a substantial amount of Arabic poetry and prose. By her own account, she authored at least twenty separate works. After her death in 1517, later admirers read and copied many of her manuscript, and wrote brief accounts of her life, thereby preserving her literary and mystical legacies.

To learn more about the book, please visit the publisher’s website

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The Song of Simon de Montfort: England’s First Revolutionary and the Death of Chivalry

By Sophie Therese Ambler

Picador
ISBN: 978-1-5098-3757-1

Excerpt: Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, was one of a rare species: a man who, uncontent with the world, dared to transform it. Today he is known as a champion of parliamentary power, for in 1265 he held what has been hailed the first House of Commons, inviting representatives of towns – as well as knights – to gather and discuss the business of government. But he did far more than this: he redrew the entire political order, imagining a means to govern the kingdom that had no meaningful place for kings; instead, England would be ruled by a council, whose powers were sharply defined and decisions carried by the vote of the majority.

To learn more about the book, please visit the publisher’s website

Click here to buy this book on Amazon.com

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