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While I was unemployed in April, 2005, I hit upon the following idea: Rather than spending endless hours staring helplessly at our bookshelves, wondering what I should read next, I would select a section and read the whole thing, in order. This would educate and entertain me, and finally allay some of the guilt attendant on having so many books I've never read. I selected medieval history, which has the added benefit of providing grist for the slowly-grinding novel production process.

Medieval history takes up almost exactly 1 six-foot bookcase, occupying the three lower shelves of the one on the left and the three upper shelves on the right, although there are a few other subjects interpolated.

Read so far, starting with the most recent:

  • A non-medieval interlude, The Shadow of the Winter Palace, Edward Crankshaw, Viking Books, 1976. Enthralling rendition of the events in Russia between 1825 and 1917. Highly recommended introduction to this neglected (by me) aspect of history. Read mostly May 7, 2005.
  • The Wars of the Roses, Alison Weir, Ballantine Books, 1995. Fun, rapid read. Still can't keep all the players straight, but feel I've made a good effort. Author appears to be a Yorkist, but prepared to believe the worst of Richard III.
  • Medieval Europe 400-1500, H. G. Koenigsberger, Longman Group UK Limited, 1987. A decent basic survey given the sprawling breadth of topic; possibly gives the wrong impression on some religious issues.

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© 2001 Rebecca J. Stevenson