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In twelfth century Languedoc a subversive heresy of Eastern origin flourished to an extraordinary degree. The Albingenses believed that the world was created by an evil spirit, and that all worldly things - including the Church - were by nature sinful. Jonathan Sumption's acclaimed history examines the roots of the heresy, the uniquely rich culture of the region which nurtured it, and the crusade launched against it by the Church which resulted in one of the most savage of all medieval wars. [Sumption] never fails to keep his narrative lively with the particular and the pertinent. He is excellent on the tactics and spirit of medieval warfare. (Frederic Raphael, Sunday Times).
Jonathan Sumption is a former History Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and a practising QC. He is the author of Pilgrimage and The Albigensian Crusade, as well as the first three volumes in his celebrated history of the Hundred Years War - Trial by Battle, Trial by Fire and Divided Houses. He was awarded the 2009 Wolfson History Prize for Divided Houses.