The Popes: A History

John Julius Norwich

The Popes: A History

John Julius Norwich turns his attention to the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the centuries from St Peter himself — traditionally (though by no means historically) the first pope — to the present Benedict XVI. It's all here, from here the glories of the Byznatium to the decay of Rome, from the Albigensian Heresy to sexual misbehaviour within the Church today. 3.0 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
The Popes: A History

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre History, Religion & Spirituality
Format Hardback
Pages 528
RRP £25.00
Date of Publication March 2011
ISBN 978-0701182908
Publisher Chatto & Windus
 

John Julius Norwich turns his attention to the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the centuries from St Peter himself — traditionally (though by no means historically) the first pope — to the present Benedict XVI. It's all here, from here the glories of the Byznatium to the decay of Rome, from the Albigensian Heresy to sexual misbehaviour within the Church today.

Reviews

The Scotsman

Michael Pye

John Julius Norwich does libraries, but he doesn't do archives … As entertainment, as a book of cues to find out more, The Popes is sharp, fun and wonderfully energetic through its many, many pages. The history, though, is in the archives still.

27/03/2011

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The Spectator

Paul Johnson

... light spring reading for the serious-minded ... Some of the information in Norwich’s book was new to me. Archdeacon Hildebrand, or Gregory VII as he became, the most adventurous of popes, who forced the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, to perform penance at Canossa, had a remarkable connection with Napoleon Bonaparte. Both came from Lombard stock. The name of Hildebrand’s father, Bonizo, is an abbreviation of Bonipart, which later appears as Buonaparte. Napoleon was proud of the connection, regarding Gregory VII as an ancestor and frequently invoking his intercession.

26/03/2011

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The Sunday Times

James McConnachie

Early in the book, Norwich tellingly praises Edward Gibbon as “the first great historian to combine scholarship with a sense of humour”. Norwich is a sparkling writer, but his comic interjections are schoolmasterly rather than magisterial … A highly readable book, then, but not a classic.

13/03/2011

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