Thursday, February 7, 2013

TUAR Book Spotlight #2: The Early Middle Ages

This week I read:  

Early Middle Ages, Volume 2

This is part of a 5 Volume series called Leading Events in the History of the Church.    The link takes you to Heritage History where you can find the series online OR purchase ereader copies for a very moderate price.

You can also find the first three volumes at Internet Archive.   This is free, but the kindle downloads are quite badly corrupted.  I don't know about the Epub version, and the PDF is probably just fine since it's just scanned pages.


1907 (Public Domain)


Sisters of Notre Dame

Overview of the Book:

This volume tells of the period of history known as the Dark Ages, but the book names it the Iron Age, because it was an age of battles and swordplay.     It starts after the fall of the Roman Empire and tells the story of the conversion of Europe and the British Isles.   The pattern seems to have been for missionaries to come to a new territory, and then if the king was willing to convert, the rest of the population generally followed.   Some territories took to Christianity naturally -- Ireland and Anglo-England -- while others were way more resistant, like parts of northern Europe.  And of course, when a king or chieftain converted along with his people, it did not necessarily mean that they started acting like saints.

The book is a kind of survey from a Catholic religious perspective of broader trends and movements and pivotal events in the history of Christendom.    The style is literate, vigorous  and sweeping.

Setting:  Time and Place:

500-1000 AD, mostly focused on France and England, with spotlights on Spain, Eastern Europe, Constantinople, Italy, Ireland, and Scandinavia.


The book has many nice black and white illustrations.
There is a chronological outline and a further reading appendix at the end of the book.  

Series Overview:

You can go to Heritage History for a very nice overview of the series.    A quote:

This five book series, written for secondary schools, tells the story of the Catholic Church from its founding by the Apostles to the opening years of the 20th century. It provides a fascinating insight into the institutional church and provides a Catholic perspective on many historical incidents that are typically presented to school children from a Protestant perspective.

The books assumes a pre-existing knowledge of the major events of European history, and focuses mainly on issues specifically related to the church, and the lives of the great saints and martyrs.
Reading Level:

The reading level is probably middle school, but since the book assumes some familiarity with the major events of history, it might be better for highschoolers unless the younger reader is fairly knowledgeable about history already.


  1. Willa! We are on the same wavelength. I've been looking at this very resource as a possible spine for next year. It looks wonderful!


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