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.