Among the readings included are several existing letters by Emma (Einhard's wife), The Life of Charlemagne, and The History of His Relics. The latter work transports us into an almost unknown world as Einhard, the cool rationalist, arranges for a relic salesman, a veritable bone seller, to acquire saints’ relics from Italy for installation into his new church. The reader is taken on an intrigue-filled trip to Rome, where Einhard's men creep into churches at night to steal bones and then spirit them away to Einhard in the north. The relics are received in town after town as if they were the living saints come to cure the infirm. Einhard's descriptions of the sick, the lame, and the blind of northern Europe vividly expose us to a side of medieval life too rarely encountered in other medieval sources.
About the author
Paul Edward Dutton, Professor of Humanities at Simon Fraser University, is the author of a number of articles and books about the Middle Ages including The Poetry and Paintings of the First Bible of Charles the Bald with Herbert L. Kessler (University of Michigan Press, 1997) and Charlemagne's Mustache and Other Cultural Clusters of a Dark Age (Palgrave, 2004). He is Series Editor of UTP's Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures.