The Birth of the West: 11 of 12: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century Paperback – March 4, 2014. by Paul Collins (Author)

Aug 01, 2019, 02:10 AM
Photo: Sofonisba Anguissola (c. 1532 – 16 November 1625), also known as Sophonisba Angussolaor Anguisciola,[1][2] was an Italian Renaissance painter born in Cremona to a relatively poor noble family. She received a well-rounded education, that included the fine arts, and her apprenticeship with local painters set a precedent for women to be accepted as students of art. As a young woman, Anguissola traveled to Rome where she was introduced to Michelangelo, who immediately recognized her talent, and to Milan, where she painted the Duke of Alba. The Spanish queen, Elizabeth of Valois, was a keen amateur painter and in 1559 Anguissola was recruited to go to Madrid as her tutor, with the rank of lady-in-waiting. She later became an official court painter to the king, Philip II, and adapted her style to the more formal requirements of official portraits for the Spanish court. After the queen's death, Philip helped arrange an aristocratic marriage for her. She moved to Sicily, and later Pisa and Genoa, where she continued to practice as a leading portrait painter
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The Birth of the West: 11 of 12: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century Paperback – March 4, 2014.  by Paul Collins  (Author)

A lively, full-to-bursting history of the turbulent tenth century in Europe…. Collins presents chaotic upheaval across Europe in an organized and riveting fashion.” —Kirkus (starred review)

The tenth century dawned in violence and disorder. Charlemagne's empire was in ruins, most of Spain had been claimed by Moorish invaders, and even the papacy in Rome was embroiled in petty, provincial conflicts. The stability once provided by Imperial Rome had dissolved, leaving a perilous landscape behind. Yet the story of the tenth century is the story of our culture's birth. This was the moment that civilization emerged from the Dark Ages into the light of day.

The Birth of the West tells the story of a transformation from chaos to order, exploring the alien landscape of Europe in transition. It thoroughly renovates older conceptions of feudalism and what medieval life was actually like. The result is a wholly-new vision of how civilization sprang from the unlikeliest of origins, and proof that our tenth-century ancestors are not as remote as we might think.

“The Birth of the West is a re-making of what we think we know about the end of the Dark Ages. It is also the gate to the utterly unexpected cosmos of European forebears.… The characters who people The Birth of the West are as familiar as relatives—as indeed they are—groping their way to a cohesive Western culture. The Birth of the West is thus the tale of our birth, and Collins tells it with a narrative grace and elegance which will make readers cherish it.” —Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's Ark