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Posted April 3, 2010
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This is the ONLY book that I have ever found that contains peasants talking about themselves and their lives. They are talking because they are standing before the Catholic inquisition. They are Cathars, a late form of gnostic dualism, and they are defending their lives. Their testimonies survive because of the zealous record keeping of the evidence presented before the holy inquisition.
Amazingly, these people talk without fear, telling all about their lives, their beliefs, their families, their activities, their hopes, and their desires. They reveal all the gossip and secrets that are endemic of any small town.
But they also reveal a beautiful people who love God, revere the spiritual Jesus, and love to talk about religion and philosophy before the family hearths. If you always thought medieval peasants were ignorant oafs then you MUST read this book. Their sophistication and bravery will astound you and, in the end, make you cry.
If you want a real education into the 14th century read this book along with Barbara Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror". You will gain a real insight into the three estates of medieval Europe...
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Posted May 20, 2010
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