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Book Cover
Author Morrissey, Robert, 1947-

Title Charlemagne & France : a thousand years of mythology / Robert Morrissey ; translated by Catherine Tihanyi.

Imprint Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c2003.


Location Call No. Status
 GDL Central Library Non-Fiction    92 Charlemagne MOR    Available
Description xxi, 391 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.
Series The Laura Shannon series in French medieval studies
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Between myth and history: Magic of origins -- Poetic space, political reflection -- rewriting history -- Call for reality, a need for myth -- Ubiquity to oblivion: National past in the classical age -- Saving the monarchy, establishing the republic -- Conquer and to sing praises -- Comments: Waning power of the figure of charlemagne.
Summary "Charlemagne, claimed by the Church as a saint, by the French as their greatest king, by the Germans as their compatriot, by the Italians as their emperor, heads all modern histories in one way or another; he is the creator of a new order of things," wrote the historian Sismondi in 1821. In this fascinating book, available for the first time in an English translation, Robert Morrissey explores a millennium's worth of history and myth surrounding Charlemagne (768-814). Charlemagne's persona -- derived from a blending of myth, history, and poetry -- assumes a constitutional value in France, where for more than ten centuries it was deemed useful to trace national privileges and undertakings back to Charlemagne. His plasticity, Morrissey argues, endows Charlemagne with both legitimizing power and subversive potential. Part 1 of the book explores a fundamental cycle in the history of Charlemagne's representation, beginning shortly after the great emperor's death and continuing to the end of the sixteenth century. Part 2 discusses the remythologizing of Charlemagne in Renaissance and Reformation France through the late nineteenth century. At a time when a new Europe is being created and when France continues to redefine and reinvent itself, Morrissey's detailed study of how history has been reappropriated is particularly valuable.
Subject Charlemagne, Emperor, 742-814 -- Influence.
Charlemagne, Emperor, 742-814 -- Legends -- History and criticism.
Charlemagne, Emperor, 742-814 -- Romances -- History and criticism.
Charlemagne, Emperor, 742-814 -- In literature.
Civilization, Medieval.
Holy Roman Empire -- Kings and rulers -- Biography.
Spine Title Charlemagne and France
Added Title Empereur à la barbe fleurie. English
ISBN 0268022771

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