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Recommended Reading

    Young Readers     Intermediate Readers     Advanced Readers     Supplemental Reading

The Christian Europe Library does not yet have a complete curriculum associated with it. The following recommendations promote some of our "comprehensive" history selections for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students. These histories provide a broad overview of European history but lack the depth of more detailed studies. We believe that students should read at least a few comprehensive histories to cover the basics, but spend most of their time on more interesting biographies and episodic histories.

Young Readers' Core Selections

These selections are engaging and easy-to-read for elementary school students. They stick to basic stories of European history and provide an excellent foundation for future studies.

      Famous Men of the Middle Ages     by John Haaren

Attractive biographical sketches of thirty-five of the most prominent characters in the history of the Middle Ages, from the barbarian invasions to the invention of the printing press. Subjects include Rollo the Viking, Henry the Fowler, Canute the Great, Peter the Hermit, Marco Polo, and many more. Each story is told in a clear, simple manner, and is well calculated to awaken and stimulate the youthful imagination.

      Old Time Tales     by Lawton Evans

This collection of over forty stories and legends from history are related by a master story-teller. They are perfect for reading individually or out loud. Most of the stories are from European history, since the author's other volume, America First, relates American stories. Well know stories such as William Tell, Joan of Arc, and the death of Roland are told, as well as lesser known classics such as "The Mouse Tower," "Dmitri the Pretender," and "Bertha with the Big Foot."

      Stories from French History     by Lena Dalkeith

This beautifully illustrated book tells seven of the most picturesque stories from the history of France. They include the story of Clovis and his Queen Clotilda, Charlemagne, Saint Louis the Crusader, Joan of Arc, the Huguenots and the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette, and Napoleon Bonaparte.

      Stories of the Vikings     by Mary Macgregor

This book gives a brief history of the early kings of Norway, starting with Harald Fairhair (c. 860), who first brought dozens of separate Viking kingdoms under a single rule, to the conversion of Norway from a Pagan to a Christian kingdom under Olaf Trygveson (c. 1015). The explorations of Leif Erikson and his family are also covered.

Intermediate Readers' Core Selections

The intermediate selections include a few thematic and national histories, that are especially well done. The Story of Europe covers most of the essential political developments of European history through the Reformation periods, while When Knights Were Bold seeks to present the important facets of daily life, and is more of a social history. National histories of France and Germany, the two most important countries in Western Europe, are also recommended.

      The Story of Europe     by H. E. Marshall

This book presents the broader movements of European history, emphasizing the main factors which have gone into the development of the various European states from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Reformation. The history of England is included only when that country plays a prominent part in the politics of Europe. A full treatment of the period immediately following the fall of the Roman Empire is given, since that period provides the necessary key to future developments. Maps, timelines, and genealogy charts of the various royal houses of Europe contribute to making this book an excellent resource for the study of the Middle Ages in Europe.

      When Knights Were Bold     by Eva March Tappan

Spirited and interesting picture of life in castles and manors, monasteries and towns during the Middle Ages. The description of the customs of knights is especially full. Chapter titles include Page, Squire, and Knight; The Knight's Arms and Armor; Jousts and Tournaments; How to Capture a Castle; Daily Life in a Castle; Life on a Manor; Pilgrimages and Crusades; Military Orders, Monks, and Monasteries; Hermits, Friars, and Missionaries; Life in Town; Merchant Gilds and Craft Gilds; How Goods Were Sold; Schools and Literature; Science and Medicine; and Architecture and the Arts.

      The Story of Old France     by Helene Guerber

This book, along with its companion volume, The Story of New France provides a comprehensive overview of French history from Roman Gaul to the First World War. This first volume begins with stories of the Gauls prior to the Roman Conquest, and ends with the death of Louis XVI. The Merovingian, Carolingian, Capet, and Valois dynasties are covered, as well as the early Bourbon monarchs.

      A History of Germany     by H. E. Marshall

A history of Germany from the first encounter of the Teutonic tribes with the Romans to the eve of the First World War. The first part of the book traces the migrations of the Germanic nations throughout western Europe and their unification under Charlemagne. During the Middle Ages, the Holy Roman Empire was a loosely controlled confederacy of German states, which did not become united until Prussia rose to prominence in the 18th century.

Advanced Readers' Core Selections

The advanced selections are somewhat eclectic. We do not provide a comprehensive text appropriate for older students at this time, but Morris's Historical Tales provide entertaining and important stories from European history. The Netherlands is a gripping story of the Protestant Revolt in the Netherlands.

      The Netherlands     by Mary Macgregor

This book tells the story of William of Orange, the great Protestant hero of Dutch independence. During the reign of Phillip II, the religious and political suppression of the lowlanders resulted in a great struggle between Spain, led by the iron-fisted Alva; and the Netherlands, led by William of Orange. After a series of dramatic oppressions and rebellions, the Dutch finally won their independence.

      Historical Tales: French     by Charles Morris

Some of the most romantic stories of France, beginning with the Visigoth repulsion of the Huns at Chalons, and ending with the Franco-Prussian War are recounted by an outstanding storyteller. This collection of entertaining stories was written especially to appeal to young adults. Familiar characters such as Charlemagne and Joan of Arc are introduced, but so are lesser known characters such as Bayard, Charles the Bold, and the Duke of Bourbon.

      Historical Tales: German     by Charles Morris

This selection of stories from German history span from the era of the Roman Empire to the foundation of the German republic in the late 19th century. Instead of a comprehensive history, the author has rewritten some of the most entertaining episodes in a manner especially interesting to young adults. Familiar characters such as Frederick Barbarossa, and Luther are introduced, but so are more obscure characters such as Wittekind, Ziska, and Wallenstein.

Supplemental Reading Selections

We recommend that students who are studying the European Middle Ages and Reformation Era read five or more selections from our supplemental reading list in addition to their core material. The selections should be age and interest appropriate, but students can select their supplemental reading from any difficulty level.

TitleGenreHistorical Era
Stories from the Crusades   by Kelman Episodic History Crusades
The Story of Joan of Arc   by Lang Biography France
Stories of William Tell   by Marshall Biography Germany
God's Troubadour   by Sophie Jewett Biography Saints
Stories from Siegfried   by Macgregor Legends Legends
Stories from Dante   by Macgregor Literature Literature
Stories from Roland   by Marshall Legends Legends
Page-Esquire-Knight   by Lansing Legends Legends
Gabriel and the Hour Book   by Stein Historical Fiction Saints
Awakening of Europe   by Synge Comprehensive All Europe
Discovery of New Worlds   by Synge Comprehensive All Europe
Peeps at History: France   by Finnemore Comprehensive France
Peeps at History: Germany   by Finnemore Comprehensive Germany
The Story of France   by Macgregor Comprehensive France
The Story of the Middle Ages   by Harding Comprehensive All Europe
Stories from German History   by Aston Comprehensive Germany
The Story of the Crusades   Wilmot-Buxton Comprehensive Crusades
The Swiss Heroes   by Upton Episodic History Germany
Barbarian and Noble   Lansing Episodic History All Europe
Patriots and Tyrants   Lansing Episodic History All Europe
Herman and Thusnelda   by Upton Biography Germany
Barbarossa   by Upton Biography Germany
The Great Elector   by Upton Biography Germany
Prince Eugene of Savoy   by Upton Biography Germany
The Swiss Heroes   by Upton Biography Germany
William Tell   by Upton Biography Germany
William of Orange   by Upton Biography Netherlands
Charlemagne   by Upton Biography Germany
Life of Benedict   by Forbes Biography Saints
Life of Vincent de Paul   by Forbes Biography Saints
Saint Gregory the Great   by Notre Dame Biography Saints
Book of Saints and Heroes   by Lang Short Biographies Saints
Stories of Saints and Martyrs   by Wolff Short Biographies Saints
Gudrun   Upton Legends/Literature Legends
Nibelungs   Upton Legends/Literature Legends
The Story of Siegfried   Baldwin Legends/Literature Legends
The Story of Roland   Baldwin Legends/Literature Legends
Otto of the Silver Hand   by Pyle Historical Fiction Germany
Saints and Heroes: I   by George Hodges Short Biographies Christian
Saints and Heroes: II   by George Hodges Short Biographies Christian
Church History: Early Middle Ages   by Notre Dame Church History Christian
Church History: Later Middle Ages   by Notre Dame Church History Christian
Church History: Early Modern Times   by Notre Dame Church History Christian
The Story of Liberty   by Charles C. Coffin Church History All Europe
Henry IV   by J. S. C. Abbott Biography France
Louis XIV   by J. S. C. Abbott Biography France
The Adventures of Marco Polo   by George Towle Biography Italy
Martin Luther   by Elsie Singmaster Biography Germany
Erasmus of Rotterdam   by Maurice Wilkinson Biography Netherlands
Knights of Art   Amy Steedman Short Biographies Italy
Stores of Charlemagne   by Alfred J. Church Legends and Literature Germany

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