The Crusades in 100 Objects by James Waterson

I enjoyed The Crusades in 100 Objects by James Waterson* a lot. It has some pretty surprising objects, including new ones… and by new I mean 21st century objects which are related to the crusades nonetheless. That was a lovely surprise and I think it added an extra layer to the book. The objects are well presented with good quality and clear pictures, and many of them (if not all) have more than one picture too, which is great.

The Crusades in 100 Objects by James Waterson

The Catholic church sanctioned campaigns in the Middle East and the eastern parts of Europe. There were many reasons for that, from religious reasons to the more secular ones such as stopping European powers to go to war with each other. European powers managed to do both though; crusade and kill each other too. Pope Urban II and his hope to retake the Holy lands which led to the first crusade, followed by eight others over the next two centuries.

The conflicts were even changing with new technologies being developed and new methods for warfare. Objects are shortly described, a quote accompanies them, of primary sources, before a battle is presented. While there aren’t many details on the objects themselves, I found the book very interesting and detailed.

Objects (although not always) included in the book are the Bayeux Tapestry, chess set, a horse, writing case, coat of arms, bows, grenades, a Victorian statue, soap, lamp, bowl, wagon, and Nazi propaganda. As you can see from this list, the items are fascinating, and the battle descriptions and historical details made the book worth reading.

The Crusades in 100 Objects by James Waterson

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Frontline Books
Year it was published: 2021
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Middle East
Pages: 256

About the author: James Waterson is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He received Master’s Degrees from the University of Dundee and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. The author of a number of books, James has travelled and worked in the Middle East, the United States and China for a number of years, but now calls Prague home and Dubai the office.
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword

*I was sent a copy of The Crusades in 100 Objects by James Waterson for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

5 thoughts on “The Crusades in 100 Objects by James Waterson”

  • A fascinating topic. I would love to read the book and see all the illustrations. I have always been interested in the Crusades, and have several books on the topic in my collection, both fiction and non-fiction. We can certainly learn from the past, including the fact that the economics often trumps the religious motivation. Very much like nowadays.

  • What an interesting approach to a topic! I think this would be a fascinating book to read, but would definitely want it in “real” form as opposed to digital.
    Kelly recently posted…More hummusMy Profile

    • I think so too, the paper version is better as the pictures can be appreciated better. There are books like this, I have a few more I should read this month, as they are more relaxing too.

  • War in the Middle East and in-fighting across parts of Europe – I can’t think where I have heard that in the last 24 hours!! 🙂 – Europe are really out to punish us for leaving the Union and the Middle Eastern countries seem to understand nothing but fighting and if they can’t find a hostile power to oblige them with a good war, then they are quite happy to fight amongst themselves – I wonder why that is? Are they just too hot-blooded? – I think that reading this book would be like switching the television on now, although the historical objects would be the thing that would interest me the most! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Mrs Yvonne D Gill recently posted…The Lipby Charlie CarrollReviewMy Profile

    • At different points in the past the Middle East was advanced when compared to Europe, hence the crusades with their lure of riches and salvation guaranteed as these were sanctioned by the pope. Now we see jidahis, but only a few hundred years ago the Europeans were the ones always in conflict, always fighting between each other and the ones who were different from them.

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