Books by Geoff Dann

MEDIEVAL LIFE by Andrew Langley
Released: May 1, 1996

This sweeping visual presentation of medieval life in Europe demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of historical titles in the Eyewitness series. A thousand years of European history are spanned in relatively few pages of briefly captioned, brightly colored photographs and reproductions. Any of these pages will make readers want to know more. (It will also make them wonder, ``How do we know that?'' without giving them a bibliography or other sources of further information.) Readers won't always know exactly what they're looking at: In a typical spread, entitled ``Holy Orders,'' there are photographs of objects from the 7th through the 13th centuries. The countries of origin are not always given; while some pieces are from the period, others look like modern reproductions. Many photos are just too small, e.g., the elaborate tapestry of the Hanseatic League is reduced almost to the size of a postage stamp. There are no maps, and the text is so abbreviated as to sound superficial: ``Peasants spent most of the daylight hours outside, so the drafts and little light from their unglazed windows did not trouble them.'' A book that's mostly for browsers. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-14) Read full book review >