After enjoying her History of the Ancient World so much, I was glad to see that Susan Wise Bauer came out with The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade, which we plan to study next.
As in the first installment, The History of the Medieval World is well researched, highly readable, and nicely organized so that the reader gets a feel for what was going on in different areas of the world at the same time.
While providing a good overview, the book also goes into plenty of depth (it’s somewhere around 660 pages) and is full of interesting anecdotes and explanations. Since it’s a long book, I found it best to read it in chapter by chapter installments, so it did take me a long time to read. It’s the sort of book you’d probably want to read as you read other things in different genres, or you could easily get overwhelmed or miss something.
The book is intended for an adult audience, not because of adult themes but because of length and level of detail. That said, I think The History of the Medieval World would make a fantastic spine/textbook for a high school (or dedicated middle school) student studying the time period.
And speaking of the time period, if you’re wondering how Bauer decided what years to cover under the medieval world umbrella, you might find this article about time frames interesting.
If you love history, feel your history education might have been deficient on some points, or want to be prepared to teach or help your kids with history homework, I’d highly recommend Bauer’s series.
What is your favorite era of history?
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