Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Bad Popes (Sutton History Classics) Paperback – October 25, 2003


Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, October 25, 2003
"Please retry"
$30.31 $4.79

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Series: Sutton History Classics
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sutton Publishing (October 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750933372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750933377
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #902,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric Russell Chamberlain was born in 1927 and is the author of over thirty books, many of them translated, on European history, culture and travel. He has also written television series on historical conservation. He has been awarded the Regione Sicilia Travel Writing Award and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Surrey. He has written widely.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
8
4 star
6
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 14 customer reviews
McCall's work, although interesting and well researched, was very difficult to read.
mwreview
He steers and even keel between anti-catholic propaganda and pro-papal fanaticism and overall left me feeling like I had a pretty good image of 'how it really was'.
B. Monroe
If anything, the Church can claim to be truly divinely blessed for having survived these creatures.
Avid Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on May 5, 2005
I picked up The Bad Popes because of its intriguing title. Its cover artwork (my copy has a different, more appealing cover than the one advertised here) and style reminded me of another book with an equally intriguing title also reprinted by Barnes & Noble Books: The Medieval Underworld by Andrew McCall. McCall's work, although interesting and well researched, was very difficult to read. I anticipated Chamberlin's work, first published in 1969, to pose a similar challenge. I was pleasantly surprised. The Bad Popes is sophisticated and scholarly as is Medieval Underworld, but it is much more accessible. I have almost no background knowledge of the topic, but was able to follow along relatively well. It is clearly written, not burdened with details, and even on occasion offers some humor and wit.

Chamberlin briefly goes back to the pagan traditions of Ancient Rome and then to Christophorous' forgery of The Donation of Constantine to establish the point where temporal powers transferred from the emperor to the pope. For example, in 755 A.D. the King of Franks believed in the veracity of the Donation and gave Pope Stephen the keys to 20 cities foreshadowing the Papal states and the pope in the role of feudal lord (p. 17). Such power magnified the attraction of the office and sparked the interest in some of the more greedy and power-hungry candidates to the Papacy. The most interesting story of this period is when Pope Stephen VII had the corpse of Pope Formosus dragged from its tomb to be put on trial (p. 19)

The book divides into six sections and features seven "bad popes" with some information on their predecessors who do not seem that much better.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on March 16, 2004
One quick glance at these bad boys and the reformation will make more sense. Well written and historically as accurate as the author was able to create, this book is not only filled with all those things that make an excellent movie, it describes a growing chasim between the church and Europe.
For Protestants this book will afirm the importance of speaking out against corruption.
For Catholics, this book will remind the reader of a dark period of history when corruption fractured the church to the very core.
For both. This is a history book. It is easy to read. It is not a book that attacks the Catholic church or lifts up Protestantism. Catholics and Protestant agree that there have been both good and bad popes. Both agree that these were among the worst. Both agree that the reformation was partially caused by both sides. This should not be viewed as a book that takes sides between churches.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Frank J. Konopka VINE VOICE on May 17, 2005
This book retells the lives of 7 "bad" Popes, in the estimation of the author. There are one or two on this list who don't necessarily qualify as "bad", but perhaps "misguided", or just plain "incompetent". The nomenclature, however, belongs to the author, and I will not quibble with his choices. That having been said, I will admit that this book reveals a side of the papacy that is somewhat unknown to the average person today. It's general knowledge that there were sone Popes unworthy of their high position, but that's about all most people really know. This book goes into extensive detail about the Popes on the author's list, and it does an excellent job of pointing out exactly what, in his estimation, were their failings. When viewed in the light of the recent papal conclave which elected Benedict XVI, those early elections, influenced by the Roman mob, political considerations, family connections and outright bribery, it's amazing that the Church survived at all! This is a cautionary tale for everyone interested in the history of the Church and its rulers, and will certainly remove the "rose colored glasses" from the faces of a lot of people.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on October 27, 2003
One of the problems Catholicism has always had to battle is the notion that the Pope may appear to be a devil but when he is acting or speaking "ex cathedra" his words and deeds are said to be infallible. This is a story of such popes - those who led armies, who jocked for political position, who tortured, maimed, committed sacrilege so dreadful that it was only a whisper.
Yet, if one is a faithful Catholic, one would say that this is all just appearances - that they were REALLY the representative of Christ on Earth only they didn't act like it. It seems they never asked that ubiquitous question, "What would Jesus do?" It is hard to select the "worst" one...what is more awful - to massacre your opponent or to commit adultry on the throne? To lead a slaughter of "infidels" or join with Earthly political powers. Urban is a real winner, my candidate for Bad Pope of the Millenium but others are also listed.
This is not, by the way, an anti-Catholic tirade. If anything, the Church can claim to be truly divinely blessed for having survived these creatures.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Monroe on November 14, 2005
I enjoy historical biographies etc. but would consider myself a reader of 'lighter' material (fantasy etc.). I picked up this book as a curiosity expecting little, but found myself taken in by it.

This book moves quickly and firmly through the history of six 'Bad Popes' but, more interestingly to me, illustrates the evolution of the Catholic Church from roughly AD 900 - AD 1530, especially in the context of european power politics of this era.

The author's style is very readable. His vocabulary is advanced although not pendantic and his descriptions colorful without being obscene.

Rather than being a catalogue of shocking infobits or factoids as other 'bad pope' books have been, Chamberlin does a good job telling the narrative of each pope's life in the context of their situation and times. He steers and even keel between anti-catholic propaganda and pro-papal fanaticism and overall left me feeling like I had a pretty good image of 'how it really was'.

This was NOT a book of which I flipped to the back half way through to check how many pages were left. I enjoyed picking it up and avoided putting it down. It is the first title I have read from this author, but hopefully will not be the last.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?