The Crusades through Historical Fiction | Newberry

The Crusades through Historical Fiction

Thursday, February 20, 2014
(This program continues for multiple sessions)
Thursdays, February 20 – April 24

5:45 – 7:45 pm

Led by Matthew Bird
This class is full and registration has closed.

We will explore the highlights of the Crusades from the eleventh through the fourteenth centuries—including their origins, motivations, and outcomes—through quality historical fiction. Novels by Nora Lofts, Cecelia Holland, and others will introduce the period and provide background for discussions on religion, politics, East-West cultural contrasts, the Latin East, food and commerce, military orders, and women in the Crusades.

Matthew Bird, a law librarian and independent scholar, holds a BA in history from Princeton University and a PhD in international politics from the University of Wales.

Materials List

  • Nora Lofts, The Lute Player: A Novel of Richard the Lionhearted. Touchstone, 2009. ISBN 1439146071
  • The first book we will be reading is Alfred Duggan’s “Count Bohemond.” It’s out of print, so I will have copies available for students to borrow at the first class session, or you can get a copy form a local library or buy a used copy online.


  • I recommend that the students get one of these two histories:
  • Thomas Madden, The new Concise History of the Crusades. Rowman Littlefield Publishers, 2005. ISBN 0742538230
  • Jonathon Riley Smith. The oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades. Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 0192803122

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program.

Cost and Registration Information 

Ten sessions, $240.
This class is full and registration has closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to be placed on the waiting list.