Nine hundred years ago the Pope initiated one of the most controversial episodes in Christian history by stating that God wanted European knights to wage a fierce and bloody war against Islam and recapture Jerusalem. Thus was the First Crusade born. Its story is compelling, capable of inspiring awe through tales of bold adventure and revulsion through excesses of violence and barbarity, while at the same time providing us with significant insights into medieval society, morality and mentality. Tom Asbridge re-creates this fascinating period of history in a stunning narrative. Compelling and enlightening in equal measure, and drawing on new research which has radically remoulded our understanding of the movement, THE FIRST CRUSADE is a major work by an outstanding young historian.
Thomas Asbridge is Lecturer in Early Medieval History at Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London. He is an acknowledged expert on the history of the crusades and the author of several books on the subject, although this is his first for a general audience.