There is no shortage of stories about the crusades, or of biographies of those who played the leading roles in this, the greatest epic of the Middle Ages. But there has been no book in which we could find, recreated, the way of life, the world view, the everyday social organization of those who tempted adventure. They were kings and paupers, barons, clerks, women, and merchants. Some were driven by their faith, others by the spirit of conquest, and some by a hunger for greatness and wealth.
Régine Pernoud presents for us a living picture in which we can view, first hand, the awe of the Christians as they beheld the Muslim world, the myriad ordeals they sustained while traveling for years in unknown lands, and the remarkable way in which they managed to adapt, to colonize, to erect churches and fortresses, and to abide for centuries in the face of an adversary far greater in number. Here, an unrecognized page in our history finally reveals itself. A great historian and writer brings this colorful period alive.