Pierre de la Palud was a friar of aristocratic birth who was appointed Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1329. This biography follows the course of his eventful life, and exploits his copious writings to build up a vivid picture of the man and the world he inhabited. Lawyer, advocate, preacher, reformer, theologian, politician, encyclopedist, crusader - Pierre was all of these; and the voice of each can be heard in his writings. Jean Dunbabin's
scholarly and penetrating study traces the career of Pierre de la Palud from his early reflections on contemporary moral issues, including papal prerogatives, contraception, and usury, to his political and diplomatic activities as Patriarch of Jerusalem. From Dominican friar to French courtier, the variety
of Pierre's experience and the range of his writings reflect the turbulence of the fourteenth-century Christian church.
`It entailed a great deal of patient research ... As portrayed by Dr Dunbabin with considerable sensitivity, Pierre comes across as a very human figure.'
Times Literary Supplement
'This book is certainly to be welcomed. It illustrates admirably the tensions which affected clerics in early fourteenth-century France'.
R.N. Swanson, French History (OUP).
`Dr Dunbabin has drawn together the threads of this complex story with subtlety and sensitivity, from the largely unpublished sources. The outline of events is richly studded with extracts from Pierre's work and illustrations of the habits of his thought... She brings him alive with great skill and a judicious retraint which prevents her from over-colouring his activities. This is a first-rate book which does a great deal to fill out what have hitherto
been outlines in many areas of contemporary Dominican activity'.
G.R. Evans, Journal of Theological Studies, vol 42, Oct 1991.
'Pierre de la Palud was an important figure in his own day and it is good to have a full and reliable account of his career. Dunbabin gives an excellent account of Pierre's life. Dunbabin makes good use of excerpts from the manuscript sources to illustrate aspects of his personality and intellectual temperament.'
Brian Tierney, Ecclesiastical History, Volume 43, No. 1, January 1992
'In making Palud and his writings more widely known, this book is certainly to be welcomed. It illustrates admirably the tensions which affected clerics in early fourteenth-century France. Palud could, and did, range widely, both geographically and intellectually. This book treats him sensitively and sympathetically. It serves its purpose as a biography.'
R.N. Swanson, University of Birmingham, French History, Vol. 5, No. 4, Dec '91
'Mrs Dunbabin writes with clarity and concision.'
Journal of Medieval History 17 (1991)
`This is an exceptionally interesting book. ... Dunbabin reveals a sureness of touch both in setting the background and in assessing Pierre's contribution. This is a major achievement. ... The present book is the first major biography of him, and no doubt it will remain definitive for many years to come. ... The book is written attractively and fluently and is well produced.'
N. Tanner, Medium Aevum
`An impressive feature of Jean Dunbabin's lively and compelling book is the constant awareness of the social and political milieu of the friar, and the intellectual and spiritual life of the man of affairs. Dr Dunbabin is uniquely well-qualified for the task...This is a short book, yet packed with insights...Unpretentious and succinct, this rich work should be read by anybody whose interests touch on those of an able but, as his biographer refuses to
conceal, rather pedestrian figure whose appeal lies not least in his weaknesses. It is Dunbabin's achievement to have brought Pierre's humanity to life and, in doing so, to have illuminated so much of the world in which he lived.'
English Historical Review
`A short but evocative study... The study portrays well Pierre's role against the backcloth of the events of his time. It commends itself to liturgists by its adept and extensive use of the colourful imagery of his sermons, which would undoubtedly merit further study.'
Anthony Ward, SM, Ephemerides Liturgicae 107 (1993)
Abbreviations; Youth; Bachelor; Master; The testing time; Teacher and preacher; Patriarch; The last days; Bibliography; Index