Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Yellow Cross

Last year, I read this book:

The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars Rebellion Against the Inquisition: 1290-1329
by Rene Weis

I was motivated to read The Yellow Cross because a Rives family figured prominently in the narrative. The Rives of Montaillou (in what is now southern France) were among those who resisted the Inquisition, thus burning at the stake for their beliefs.

Here is a brief review of the book that I wrote on Goodreads:

" Fascinating narrative derived from 700 year old depositions taken by the Inquisition in their relentless pursuit of heretics. Although the detail is at times overwhelming, the author succeeded in vividly depicting the lives of ordinary people of Languedoc during the middle ages, most of whom died for their rebellion against the Catholic church."

It has been suggested that the Ryves of Dorsetshire descended from the Rives of Languedoc, but nobody knows whether that is true or not. Nevertheless, I was entranced by the depiction of lives of ordinary (and real) people of hundreds of years ago.

The Yellow Cross is a challenging read but well worth the effort if you want to understand life in medieval Languedoc and learn a little about how an early Rives family lived.

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