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Preface to Hérétiques

Preface to Hérétiques

Hérétiques. Résistances et répression dans l”Occident médiéval,  translated by Julien Théry, has just been published by Belin, Paris. This is the preface I wrote for the French edition, in which the significance of the English title, The War on Heresy, is explained, and some of its current resonances explored. Students and colleagues may like to know that Hérétiques includes in full the notes and bibliography hitherto available only on this website, with some updating. The first burning of heretics in European…

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Religion, Violence and the Historian

Religion, Violence and the Historian

This paper was written for an inter-disciplinary conference at Yale in February, 2008, but  if rewriting I would not make any material change to its historical content, and would argue that its more general reflections have been, on the whole, sustained by the events of the intervening decade. ‘Just before the third year after the millennium, throughout the whole world, but most especially in Italy and Gaul, men began to reconstruct churches, although for the most part the existing ones…

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The Poshness of Mr Darcy

The Poshness of Mr Darcy

Every reader of Pride and Prejudice – not to mention several million people who haven’t read it and aren’t planning to – knows that Mr Darcy was posh. Just how posh is less obvious to most people now than it was when P&P was published in January, 1813. Fitzwilliam Darcy was the son of Mr Darcy of Pemberley, in Derbyshire, and his wife, Lady Anne (Ch. 16) – so before her marriage, Lady Anne Fitzwilliam, the daughter of an earl….

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Cathars in Question: a response to Pete Biller

Cathars in Question: a response to Pete Biller

This is a comment on the extended critique of The War on Heresy by Peter Biller, ‘Goodbye to Catharism’, in Cathars in Question?, ed. Antonio Sennis, Boydell and Brewer for York University Press (Woodbridge, 2016), 274 – 313.  I hope to follow up, constructively,  a number of other points raised by several contributors to this excellent collection in the not too distant future.   Many a time I have watched York Station gather speed and vanish into the distance. I…

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