Subtitled: The Magnificent Dukes and their Courts.
Let’s be clear about this at the outset – this is, despite its main title, a virtually wine-free book. Of-course, gifts by way of a few barrels here and a few barrels there pop-up from time to time but no more often than a prince of the realm has ‘his brains scattered in the mud’.
This book covers the dynasty of the Dukes of Burgundy, ‘princes of the blood, but owners of vast estates existing in their own right and over which France had no juristiction’; estates which made these Dukes and their vassals some of the richest of the ‘middle-ages’. It’s about the political intrigue of the time and kingdoms won and lost and like all the best history books – they really know how to kill a man.
Close to 300 pages, this is a scholarly work, in parts it’s also not always the easiest read, possibly because it’s been translated from the original French of its author – Joseph Calmette (d.1952 – it was his last work) but it certainly holds the attention. For history buffs this is recommended.