When I posted “The Israel of the Alps: A Complete History of the Waldenses," by Alexis Muston, for the “Books We Love 7 Day Challenge” this past week, I guess I really didn’t expect anyone to be intrigued enough to look into getting a copy of their own! Now that a few if you have surprised me with your interest, I have to say that, while Muston’s is one of the very best, most thorough I’ve seen on the Waldenses, it’s also one of the longest (Two volumes for a total of 918 pages) and one of the most tedious, in parts. Muston can go on describing the geography of the valleys, details about the surrounding neighbors and regional laws, etc. I own about a dozen books on the Waldenses. For the sake of those who may pick up just one book on these amazing Christians, allow me to recommend a few that are much shorter, more to the point and more readable.
ALL OF THESE CAN BE READ FOR FREE ONLINE!
1. “A Short History of the Italian Waldenses,” by Sophia Bompiani is simply excellent. Nowhere near as thorough as Muston’s (a mere 168 pages, compared to a whopping 918 in Muston's!), but accurate and captivating, nonetheless. Bompiani clearly admires their faith greatly, which makes me like her from the get go.
2. “History of the Waldenses,” by J. A. Wylie is probably the most popular and best known book about them. Lots of great anecdotes and well told; I just like Bompiani’s perspective better on how truly ancient they are. 212 pages.
3. “The Pilgrim Church,” by E. B. Broadbent is a classic on several groups of evangelical Christians who remained faithful in the face of persecution, not the Waldenses only, but it is outstanding and inspiring. I believe EVERY Christian should have “Pilgrim Church” in their personal library, but I’m a book geek 🤓
If I haven't yet managed to completely scare you away from Alexis Muston, that's great! I would just add that it would certainly be no sin to skip around in a tome of that size.