pls rec me things to read

pls rec me things to read:




From above: “I’m just gonna throw this out there: does anyone have any recs for books
(fiction or non-fiction) set in Europe between about 1000 and 1400? I
realize that is quite a wide net. But if you have any favorites, I would
like to hear about them! Historical fiction, pop history, whatever you
think would fit. In the past I have had a really good time reading
things like the economic history of England in the 14th century, so
don’t be shy.“

Wow. That’s a funky time period and most of what I’ve read is theology or
philosophy like Aquinas’s Summa Theologicae and St.
Anselm’s Proslogion–which I do not recommend. I kind of enjoyed Aquinas, but only because he was like HEY what if Aristotle had written about Christianity, huh????? Maybe Maimonides? He’s kind of cool. I’ve only read excerpts.  I like St. Thomas A Kempis’s Imitation of Christ, but it’s like 1420. It’s a nice book about how if Christians actually acted like Christ it would be a better world. Some nice monks in the desert recommended it to me over pound cake.

Most obviously–The Divine Comedy. I like
the Mandelbaum translation. The Purgatorio and Paradiso are fantastic
and people usually only read The Inferno. I assume you’ve read Chaucer and I enjoyed reading Chaucer, but only when I went very slowly with a Chaucer glossary and a Chaucer dictionary and took the poems apart. Words that mean something now meant very different things to ol’ Geoffery. So if you don’t take care you miss many of his jokes and his metaphors. This hit me full force when I realized his Doctor of Physick is a dude on a horse dressed like a human heart in arterial red and veinous blue. 

I’ve toyed with the idea of
reading Culhwch and Olwen but idk. It supposedly influenced Tolkien’s Lay of Luthien and Beren.

There’s various myth/poems from this period like Tristan and Iseult and The Ulster Cycle. I read The Tain translated by Kinsella and it was interesting and rhythmic even in translation. There are a bunch of Romance poems and things that I think informed Mallory’s Arthur. IDK. The whole Vulgate Cycle overwhelms me.

I’ve never read any of the nuns who wrote in this time like Julian of Norwich or Hildegard of Bingen. I’ve read bits of Abelard and Heloise’s correspondence, but never sat down and read it for real.

I keep forgetting about Christine Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies. I’ve never read it, but it sounds potentially interesting. I’ve never attempted El Cid either and I feel like I should have, but eh. Maybe someone else can jump in and be more helpful.

Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake rocked my world. But I had to read it out loud before I could make sense of it.

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