Adventures in Bookland: The Knights Hospitaller by John Carr

The Knights Hospitaller by John Carr

This military history of the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem is solid and generally dependable, apart from its tendency to adopt the outworn tropes of earlier scholarship about the Crusades that saw the Crusaders as ignorant barbarians out for plunder and conquest and with a strong inclination to massacre populations for sport as opposed to the civilised and humane Muslims who always gave quarter and were definitely better mannered. While this view has been shown to be wrong, the awareness of that does not seem to have quite sunk in to John Carr’s treatment of the Crusades and Outremer.

Apart from that, the book does a good job of tracing the history of the Hospitallers, with the part on its latter history after the Siege of Malta possibly the best section of the book. Recommended so long as the reader knows enough to correct the issues about Outremer.


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