Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Overlook Preview: THE BATTLE FOR CHRISTENDOM by Frank Welsh

Coming in September from eminent historian Frank Welsh, author of Australia, is The Battle for Christendom: The Council of Constance, the East-West Conflict, and the Dawn of Modern Europe, a lively overview of one of Europe's most turbulent eras, defined by religious schism and the advent of an Islamic enemy. At the dawn of the fifteenth century, Islam invaded Europe from the East and it seemed that Christendom itself was under threat. In an attempt to save Christian world the Emperor Sigismund called the many nations of Europe together for a conference at Constance, beside the Rhine. The Conference attracted the greatest minds in the western world, as well as innumerable princes, lawyers and prostitutes. And amid the confusion hoped to put Europe's house in order. In this study, author Frank Welsh explores this important moment in history and shows that it is in fact one of the most central moments in European history. Kirkus Reviews notes the "many threads of this complex narrative, and Welsg does a good job of showing how the religious and political rivalries of old anticipated later crises in world history."

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