Tales of the Crusades

Tales of the Crusades

by Olivia Coolidge
Publisher: Hillside Education
Hardcover, 225 pages
Current Retail Price: $16.95
Not in stock

For almost four hundred years, three civilizations put an endless stream of energy and people into a great movement called the Crusades.  Beautiful cities were destroyed, armies clashed and lives were lost.  It accomplished nothing.

The goal had been the ideal of a pope: to capture Jerusalem and establish a new Christendom. But motives became corrupted and confused and the original ideal was lost, and in the end, the people were left disillusioned with both the papacy and the Roman Catholic Church.  Nevertheless, countless thousands joined and continued to join the Crusades for reasons ranging from faith to folly.

Robert of Saint Avold was a gallant knight needing above all a chance to prove himself.  The Crusades offered him a noble cause plus the promise of material and spiritual riches.  For William the Pig the Crusades were to be taken advantage of, and he used them in a most cruel and shocking way to fill his pockets.  Jehan and Alys made up another type of crusader.  They were poor dreamers who blindly believed that the Crusades would bring them to the kingdom of God.

In Tales of the Crusades, the reader sees centuries pass, ideas change and the Crusades become a very human reality through the stories of these and others.  From Little Peter and the first Crusade in 1095 to those who followed Pope Pius II in 1464, there are emperors, knights, thieves and paupers, all with a dream and a unique purpose in mind.  Olivia Coolidge has created an entertaining and often ironic collection of stories in which she successfully avoids taking sides or moralizing, leaving the reader to draw his own conclusions.

—from the dust jacket

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