This is a short, brilliant account of the relations between Islam and Christianity from Muhammad to the Reformation. Fletcher argues that though there were trading and cultural interactions between Islam and Christianity during the period when Arabs controlled most of the Mediterranean world, neither side was remotely interested in the religion of the other. 'Christian and Moslem lived side by side in a state of mutual religious aversion. Given these circumstances, if religious passions were to be stirred up, confrontation would probably be violent'. He shows how religious misunderstanding and antagonism between 'the people of the book' has been present since their earliest encounters.
Richard Fletcher is one of Britain's most distinguished medieval historians, and for many years taught at the University of York. His previous books include THE QUEST FOR EL CID, which won the Wolfson Award and the Los Angeles Times History Prize; THE CONVERSION OF EUROPE; and BLOODFEUD.