A Fool And His Money: Life in a Partitioned Medieval Town

Random House
2

Few books have captured the atmosphere of daily medieval life as well or as movingly as A Fool and His Money. Rodez, in southern France, was divided for centuries by a feud between two masters. This partitioned town thus acquired two distinct cultures. The story focuses on the strange case of Peyre Marques, a merchant who forgets where he has buried his gold. To read A Fool and His Money is like opening a shutter on to a sunlit medieval street teeming with characters, talk and noise - all coloured with the vibrancy of truth. --'Wroe is an excellent historian and an engaging writer with a beady eye for detail and an attractive turn of phrase. Best of all, she conveys a true feeling for the recreation of period and persons and place' Daily Telegraph --'History lives best when it is loved, and nobody who reads this book can doubt the author's love of her subject' Sunday Telegraph
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About the author

Ann Wroe is the Briefings and Obituaries editor of The Economist. She is the author of six previous works of non-fiction, including Pilate: The Biography of an Invented Man, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Award and the W.H. Smith Award. She lives in north London.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Feb 28, 2011
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781409008491
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Biography & Autobiography / Military
Biography & Autobiography / Political
History / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Pontius Pilate arrived in Judaea in the year 26, sent to collect taxes and oversee the firm establishment of Roman law. His ten-year term was a time of relative peace in this fractious new outpost of the Roman Empire, where violence was not uncommon. He was not loved and not quite feared, and might have vanished into obscurity had he not come to preside, with some reluctance, over the most famous trial in history.

In this brilliant biography, a finalist for the Samuel Johnson Prize and a masterpiece of scholarship and imagination, Ann Wroe brings Pilate and his world to life. Working from classical sources, she reconstructs his origins and upbringing, his career in the military and life in Rome, his confrontation with Christ, and his long journey home. We catch glimpses of him pacing the marble floors in Caesarea, sharpening his stylus, getting dressed shortly before sunrise on the day that would seal his place in history. What were the pressures on Pilate that day? What did he really think of Jesus? Pontius Pilate lets us see Christ's trial for the first time, in all its confusion, from the point of view of his executioner.

Pontius Pilate is a historical figure, like Cleopatra and Alexander, who has been endlessly mythologized through the ages. For some he is a saint, for others the embodiment of human weakness, an archetypal politician willing to sacrifice one man for the sake of stability. Each generation has pressed onto Pilate the imprint of its anxieties and its faith. He has haunted—and continues to haunt—our imagination. From the Evangelists and the Copts (for whom he was a saint, martyred himself on the Cross) to more recent philosophers, artists, novelists, and politicians, Pilate has been resurrected in different guises for two thousand years. Ann Wroe brings man and myth to life in a book that expands the possibilities of the biographical form and deepens our understanding of the mysteries of faith.

It has often been said that Pontius Pilate was fingered by God to carry out the divine plan of salvation, just as clearly as Christ was. Ann Wroe shows how, in his hesitation before God, in his skepticism, his anxiety to do his job and exonerate himself of guilt, Pilate's story is very much our own.
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