King and Emperor: A New Life of Charlemagne

King and Emperor: A New Life of Charlemagne

by Janet L. Nelson

Hardcover(First Edition)

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"King and Emperor takes on the compelling suspense of good detective work as well as good history."—The Wall Street Journal

Charles I, often known as Charlemagne, is one of the most extraordinary figures ever to rule an empire. Driven by unremitting physical energy and intellectual curiosity, he was a man of many parts, a warlord and conqueror, a judge who promised "for each their law and justice," a defender of the Latin Church, a man of flesh and blood. In the twelve centuries since his death, warfare, accident, vermin, and the elements have destroyed much of the writing on his rule, but a remarkable amount has survived. Janet Nelson's wonderful new book brings together everything we know about Charles I, sifting through the available evidence, literary and material, to paint a vivid portrait of the man and his motives.
Building on Nelson’s own extraordinary knowledge, this biography is a sort of detective story, prying into and interpreting fascinating and often obdurate scraps of evidence, from prayer books to skeletons, gossip to artwork. Charles’s legacy lies in his deeds and their continuing resonance, as he shaped counties, countries, and continents; founded and rebuilt towns and monasteries; and consciously set himself up not just as King of the Franks, but as the head of the renewed Roman Empire. His successors—even to the present day—have struggled to interpret, misinterpret, copy, or subvert his legacy. Janet Nelson gets us as close as we can hope to come to the real figure of Charles the man as he was understood in his own time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520314207
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 09/17/2019
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 704
Sales rank: 110,574
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.20(d)

About the Author

Janet L. Nelson, DBE, is Professor Emerita of Medieval History at King's College London, where she taught for many years. She has written and translated widely on early medieval Europe, and her books include Charles the Bald, The Frankish World, and Courts, Elites, and Gendered Power in the Early Middle Ages.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
List of Genealogies

1 Introduction
2 Family Stories Charles Might Have Known
3 The Child in the Picture
4 Family Fortunes
5 Charles in Italy
6 Peace and War: 774–9
7 The Family Deployed, ‘. . . all Saxony subjugated’
8 Boundary- crossings
9 Franks, Bavarians and New Thinking: 787–9
10 The Regensburg Years
11 Saxons, Saracens, Northmen and the
Council of Frankfurt: 792–4
12 The Beginning of the End of the Saxon Wars: 792–9
13 Interesting Times, Dangerous Times
14 Fin de siècle – début de siècle: Romanum
gubernans imperium
15 The Aachen Years
16 ‘Charles, by the bounty of divine grace emperor and
augustus . . . to his beloved and honourable brother
Michael glorious emperor and augustus’
By Way of Conclusion

Notes on the Illustrations

Customer Reviews