The Life of Charlemagne, by Einhard
Four out of five stars
The author of this biography, one of the first written after the fall of the Roman Empire, was a member of the royal court of Charlemagne. Therefore, there is nothing in the way of criticism of the man Einhard considered a great king and emperor.
The book is a very short compilation of Charlemagne’s achievements as the ruler of the Franks, most of the content is a series of brief descriptions of the almost constant warfare during his reign. Written of course from the perspective of the victor and someone that is emphasizing the benevolence and wisdom of his king.
There is a foreword written by Sidney Painter that puts the writings of Einhard into the proper context. Painter does an excellent job in explaining the position of Einhard and how it was one of the earliest biographies to appear after the fall of Rome.
While there is no depth to this book, the context makes it a book of great historical interest and well worth reading.