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Book Rating (13)

Narrator Rating (3)

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Barbara W. Tuchman

Narrated By: Nadia May

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: January 2006

Duration: 28 hours 40 minutes


The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on one hand, a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry; on the other, a time of ferocity and spiritual agony, a world of chaos and the plague. Barbara Tuchman reveals the great rhythms of history and the grain and texture of domestic life as she examines everything from political assassinations, sea battles, corruption, satire and humor, sorcery and demonology, to lawyers, tax collectors, scholars, grocers, knights, and lust and sadism on the stage.


  • Timothy McDonough

    Another fine work by Barbara Tuchman. If she wrote it, if you love historical nonfiction, you'll love the read.

  • Tom Clayton

    The title says it all. People have not changed much as a group in 600 years. The Black Death is hard to believe. Entire families and towns wiped out. Bodies put in deep holes then covered by some dirt and then more bodies like making lasagna, a graphic I will never forget. Technology has changed what we can do but not why we do it. Fighting each other is not rare, in fact it seems to be the norm. With perspective obtained over longer than lifetimes, there is still a chance that we will evolve into something better. The 4 for narration is simply that narrators should not have accents that make it harder to understand what is being said, particularly fast paced narrations.

  • Rodney Stroh

    Exceptional book and excellent narration; an indispensable key to the past!

  • mary reynolds

    It takes a while to adjust to the narrators fast pace and the huge amount of information, but it is worth the effort. It's one of those that should be listened to over a long period of time, in pieces. The emphasis is on French history but its a vast tale of a time that shaped the world.