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A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age Paperback – June 1, 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 516 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It speaks to the failure of medieval Europe, writes popular historian William Manchester, that "in the year 1500, after a thousand years of neglect, the roads built by the Romans were still the best on the continent." European powers were so absorbed in destroying each other and in suppressing peasant revolts and religious reform that they never quite got around to realizing the possibilities of contemporary innovations in public health, civil engineering, and other peaceful pursuits. Instead, they waged war in faraway lands, created and lost fortunes, and squandered millions of lives. For all the wastefulness of medieval societies, however, Manchester notes, the era created the foundation for the extraordinary creative explosion of the Renaissance. Drawing on a cast of characters numbering in the hundreds, Manchester does a solid job of reconstructing the medieval world, although some scholars may disagree with his interpretations.

From Publishers Weekly

Manchester's marvelously vivid popular history humanizes the tumultuous span from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance. A one-week PW bestseller in cloth. Illustrations.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
516 customer ratings
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Top international reviews

Marin P
4.0 out of 5 stars but William Manchester being such a great storyteller, I enjoyed reading it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 6, 2016
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Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality book, interesting to read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 1, 2019
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Bondi_Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read !
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 14, 2019
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redinthebed
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 19, 2017
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Rowan
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 23, 2018
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GERARD MEMERY
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, full of interesting details of life then ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 6, 2016
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Landesshutzen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 13, 2017
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den
5.0 out of 5 stars William Manchester you are a marvel :)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 25, 2016
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Amazonkunde*seit*1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Nett geschrieben..aber wohl teilweise veraltete Faktenlage
Reviewed in Germany on November 18, 2019
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Alan Carter
1.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, hard to take seriously
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 6, 2014
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Lyne Nadeau
5.0 out of 5 stars A book on post Renaissance and age of reformation
Reviewed in Canada on February 5, 2013
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TNW
1.0 out of 5 stars Rambles all over
Reviewed in France on February 2, 2016
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McAngie
4.0 out of 5 stars From a mind lit only by imagination
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 11, 2017
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great recomendaation and so glad I have this book to ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 16, 2017
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