Pilgrimage: The Great Adventure of the Middle Ages - John UreLondon: Constable, 2006, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper which is a little faded at the spine. Text complete, clean and tight.
Contains: Black & White Plates; Black & White Drawings; Maps ;
From the cover: “There are three things that can neither be recommended nor discouraged — marriage, war and a voyage to the Holy Sepulchre — they may begin well and end very badly !
This was the view of Count Wurtemburg on his return from Jerusalem in 1480. Other contemporaries advised taking two bags, ‘one of patience, the other of ducats’, a long coat that could be slept in, a barrel of wine and a ‘night stool’. Be that as it may, for most Europeans in the Middle Ages, a pilgrimage, to Jerusalem or Rome, Santiago or Canterbury, was the adventure of a lifetime, a chance to see the world beyond their feudal estate or town guild.
John Ure approaches pilgrimage from the viewpoint of adventure and travel via a wide spectrum of pilgrims — grandees, scholars, social climbers and rogues — and bases his narrative on their own (often forgotten) accounts: those of Erasmus, John of Gaunt, Margery Kempe, Sir John Mandeville to name but a few. He brings to life the hazards of the routes: robbery, sale into slavery, Alpine blizzards, parched deserts, plague and even tiresomely mystic companions.
He also recounts gory tales of military expeditions described as pilgrimages — from the Albigensian Crusade to the Pilgrimage of Grace — when piety was a cover for violence and cruelty. He considers the literary and allegorical implications of this most lively feature of medieval life.
Finally, John Ure uses his skills as a travel writer to give vignettes of these pilgrim routes today, some of them accessible and popular, others as remote and haunting as in medieval times.”