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Comment: Ex-library book. The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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The Friar of Carcassonne: Revolt Against the Inquisition in the Last Days of the Cathars Hardcover – September 27, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

O'Shea's vivid and evocative story of the extraordinary and moving career of Bernard Delicieux rests on thorough and wide-ranging knowledge and shrewd historical judgement -- R. I. Moore, author of 'The Formation of a Persecuting Society' --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Stephen O'Shea is an historian and the acclaimed author of Sea of Faith: Islam and Christianity in the Medieval Mediterranean World, The Perfect Heresy: The Revolutionary Life and Death of the Medieval Cathars, and Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War I. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802719945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802719942
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This reviewer has been an interested follower of Stephen O'Shea ever since he published "The Perfect Heresy" eleven years ago. A historian whose pen has been erudite rather than prolific, he is able to bring dry historical scholarship to his public in a manner that is both enthusiatic and accessible. So it is with "The Friar of Carcassonne", a text a scant two hundred pages long with a further fifty of Notes, that serves to bring a forgotten champion of the Cathar cause back to the conscious memory of History that he deserves. A Franciscan friar who sought to correct the terrible wrongs he found in the actions of the Dominician inquistion during the turn of the fourteenth century, Bernard Delicieux is no "civil libertarian" but a man who "saw a grevious wrong and summoned up the courage to try and redress it. In this he was a man for all seasons-but still just a man." (pg204)
The story of Bernard Delicieux is the story of the final struggles of Languedoc to retain autonomy in the face of French pressures; the story of tumultous times for the Papacy; yet, ultimately, it is the story of one man's failure. A personal failure that represents a tale of heresy which, around the time of his death, led to the fall of the Templars and a huge schism in the Medieval Church as spiritual grace sought to consolidate secular power against the Kings of France.
O'Shea's text is divided into three parts. The first sixty pages are concerning the world of Bernard Delicieux. Told in a manner that successfully attempts to set the tones of anger and resentment that cut the undercurrents both of the world of Franciscan and Dominican friar, and of the Cathar Good Men and Women and the Inquisition.
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Format: Hardcover
"Bernard Délicieux was a troublemaker of the first order, in the mold of Martin Luther, John Brown, and Mahatma Gandhi." Stephen O'Shea knows that you know those other guys, but Bernard is known to few, mostly to experts on Medieval France, like O'Shea himself. His book _The Friar of Carcassonne: Revolt Against the Inquisition in the Last Days of the Cathars_ (Walker) intends to make Bernard better known and admired. Bernard lived in a strange time, around 1265 to 1320, a time covered by O'Shea's previous books _The Perfect Heresy_ and _Sea of Faith_, and O'Shea's broad knowledge of the time helps to make it a little less strange for his readers. What makes Bernard an ideal subject for our time to contemplate is that he challenged his church and he challenged his king at a time when such things just were not done. Nowadays, to paraphrase Monty Python, "No one respects the Spanish Inquisition!", but Bernard operated at a time when the inquisition was forming and was becoming the way of enforcing belief, a way that would be codified about a century later. He had sensible and humane objections to the inquisition (O'Shea uses the uncapitalized word since in Bernard's time it was not yet the dark bureaucracy it was to become), and if he failed in keeping it from becoming a blot on human and religious history, he was still on the right side and his was a heroic failure.

Bernard was a Franciscan in the convent in Carcassonne, in southern France. The Franciscans of the time were the underdogs to the other mendicant order, the Dominicans who were mostly responsible for the inquisition, at that time working against the Cathars. Those who were tortured and condemned were executed, or if not executed they were confined within "the Wall," the notorious prison in Carcassonne.
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Format: Hardcover
Seventy years after the end of the Albigensian crusade, heresy still was not stamped out in southern France. The Dominican-led inquisition blithely tortured and killed to counteract this threat, which was not appreciated by the locals. The attempt to reign in the Dominicans was led by Bernard Delicieux, a charismatic and seemingly unafraid Franciscan monk, who took his cause both to the King of France (successfully, at least for a while) and the Pope (which didn't go so well).

This book attempts to be a biography of Brother Bernard, but documentation from 700 years ago is naturally sketchy, and major parts of his story are presumably lost forever. Where this book stands out, though, is in its description of the battling interests of all the involved parties. If you thought you knew all the depravities of the Inquisition, just wait till you hear what this Bishop of Albi had in for the leading members of his city.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very thorough look at the politics and religious atmosphere of the Languedoc during the period of the Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade. Told through the life of a friar who moved between the monastery and the throne room of France.
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