Robert Irwin

Onward Christian Soldiers

Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades


The Bodley Head 424pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Holy Warriors has plenty of competition. There must be about a dozen general histories of the crusades in print and the standard is pretty high. Jonathan Phillips, Professor of Crusading History at Royal Holloway College, London University, has not written an academic textbook. As he explains in the introduction, he has aimed his book at the general reader and ‘chosen to bring to life a variety of figures and events outside of those well known to a general audience’. It is Phillips’s focus on the personalities and picturesque incidents, and his neglect of any attempt to slog year by year through the annals of the crusades, that distinguish this book from the others. 

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