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Crusades: Authors and Audiences - DISCOUNTED
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Crusades: Authors and Audiences - DISCOUNTED
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Crusades: Authors & Audiences
Anthony Dale, HTANSW, 2007
Paperback, 116 pp.


This resource booklet has been produced especially for ‘The Crusades’ case study in the Extension History course. Anthony Dale of Inverell High School, winner of a 2005 Westfield Premier’s History Scholarship travelled to Britain and France in 2006 and conducted extensive interviews with nine contemporary historians of the Crusades: Jonathan Riley-Smith, Susan Edgington, Jonathan Phillips, Rebecca Rist, Norman Housley, Sarah Lambert, Marcus Bull, John France, Christopher Tyerman. The booklet that he has produced is a transcript of these interviews.

The booklet begins with a useful thumbnail sketch of the main focus of each historian’s research, their approaches to historiography and chief contribution to crusades research – together with a short list of their major publications in this field.

The most useful feature of this resource is that the five key questions of the Extension History syllabus form the basis of each interview. Questions include “What are the major debates currently dominating crusades studies? Which historians are the main proponents of particular debates? How and why have approaches to this debate changed over time? What might be future directions and issues in crusades research?”

The interviews offer fascinating insights into the current world of crusade historiography – and especially the debates concerning the definition of a crusade and the motivations of the crusaders. Many of the historians also offer some interesting evaluations of each other’s work in relation to their own studies.

Of particular interest to students of Extension History are the discussions concerning the context of each historian, their background, what sparked their passion for History in general and for the crusades in particular.

What does emerge very clearly from the majority of the interviews is the enormous influence of Jonathan Riley-Smith, as teacher, mentor, PhD supervisor, empiricist and setter of research agendas. Marcus Bull, a former student of JRS says, “It’s like a small asteroid being sucked into the gravity of an enormous planet!

Students and teachers will find this excellent resource an invaluable guide for their crusade studies.



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