The Birth of France: Warriors, Bishops, and Long-Haired Kings

Katherine Scherman, Author, Katharine Scherman, Author Random House (NY) $22.5 (323p) ISBN 978-0-394-56089-2
The rulers of Frankish Gaul exuded crude vitality and a freewheeling spirit. Sadistic Queen Fredegund, known for her magnetic sexual allure, favored assassination as the most convenient way to dispose of her enemies. Emperor Lothair kept six women as lovers under his various roofs; dying at age 77, his last words were an enraged cry against the God who had dared to lay low a great king. His father, Clovis, a Catholic convert, led a ruthless career of conquest with all the radiance of a consecrated hero. This full-blooded chronicle maps the troubled centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire when poetic, inventive Celts and pragmatic Romans merge with tough Franks on the Christian soil that became medieval France. Scherman (The Flowering of Ireland takes her saga through the last Merovingian ""sluggard kings''dissolute, weak, lazyup to Charles, the Christian savior of Europe, who used the church as a war chest to underwrite his military campaigns. (August 28)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
Paperback - 323 pages - 978-1-55778-174-1
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