Descriptions

Am reading Nancy Goldstone’s Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe. This description of Simon de Montfort strikes me, I think because of the irony, enthusiasm and criticism all rolled up in it:

Simon de Montfort was one of the most renowned figures of his day, and a pivotal actor in the drama that would result in French hegemony in the region. Simon was austere, honest, pious, faithful to his wife, abstemious, uncomplaining, and relentless. His only flaw of character seems to have been the unbridled, exuberant brutality with which he slaughtered those whose religious beliefs did not conform to his own. Here was a man who loved his work.

Er, this text refers to the elder Simon de Montfort, not his son Simon de Montfort who called the first parliament and who was married to Eleanor Marshal nee Plantagenet.  It’s also a bit of an understatement, since the other bits of information I’ve read about Simon Sr. indicate that he was notoriously cruel and brutal.
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3 responses to “Descriptions

  1. Anonymous

    Your Simon de Montfort post caught my attention. I’ve always thought Simon de Montfort the junior was a fascinating character from history.
    Reading the passage, I found it rather sarcastic in tone.
    You’ve sent me looking for the book.
    Tara Marie

    • The younger de Montfort has spent a fair amount of time front and center in this book so far. Which makes sense, given the topic.
      I’m not sure if I would recommend this book or not. It reads quickly and is informative, but the title and ostensible topic don’t really match the content. The four sisters may have been active behind the scenes, but the attention paid to their roles is primarily speculative. As an organizing point, they make sense, but they really are players or main characters so far — am half way through the book.

      • Anonymous

        It still sounds interesting, since it’s only $6 on amazon, it can sit in my shopping cart until I order again.

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