These two famous Old French chronicles were composed by soldiers who took part in the Holy Wars and offer both eyewitness accounts of the battles and pictures of life in the East. They are among the most important portrayals of both the dark and light sides of the two-hundred-year struggle for possession of Jerusalem. The first trustworthy and fully informed history of the Crusades, Villehardouin's Conquest of Constantinople describes the era of the Fourth Crusade between 1199 and 1207, during which a planned battle with Muslim forces ironically culminated in war against Eastern Christians that led to the sacking of Constantinople. The Life of Saint Louis was inspired by Joinville's close attachment to the pious King Louis, and focuses on the years between 1226 and 1270. It provides a powerful, personal insight into the brutal battles and the fascinating travels of one nobleman, fighting in the Sixth and Seventh Crusades.
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