Fortresses of the Albigensian Crusade 1209-1300
By Marcus Cowper
illustrated by Peter Dennis
Published by Osprey Publishing Limited
ISBN 978 1 84603 066 6
Softback, 65 pages with Index
This is an excellent little handbook, certainly
the best English language book on the Castles of the Languedoc
associated with the Cathars and the Cathar (or Albigensian)
The book covers a brief history of the Languedoc
with a chronology of key events, the development of fortifications
on the sites, a tour of the main sites, the lords involved
on both sides of the crusade, the roles of the main Cathar
Castles, the period after the Crusade, and visiting the castle
Despite its length - only 65 pages - it manages
to pack in all the key information, well presented and objectively.
It is illustrated with colour and black and white photographs,
site plans and colour paintings.
These colour paintings by Peter Dennis are
one of the best things about the book - especially those of
Queribus, Carcassonne, and Peyrepertuse - giving a good idea
of what the castles would have looked like in the Middle Ages.
Other features are well-chosen quotations from
source documents and a firm grasp on the niceties of medieval