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Kings and Lords in Conquest England (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series) Paperback – February 5, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0521526944 ISBN-10: 0521526949

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series (Book 15)
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521526949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521526944
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,784,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


This is a study of landholding and alliance in England in the years 950 to 1086, a period of dizzying tenurial change, in which the ebb and flow of landed wealth and alliances sheds light on the economic and geographic balance between the monarchy and the aristocracy, and on how this balance helped shape England, its monarchy and its institutions. -- Book Description --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

This is a study of landholding and alliance in England in the years 950 to 1086. It will become the standard work on the often volatile relationship between the king and the great lords in this key transitional period.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
There were two conquerors of England in the 11th century -- not just William of Normandy but, just a generation or two earlier, Canute "the Great," who ruled almost all of Scandinavia. And the great lords who served both kings were nothing like the modern image of an aristocrat. They were "enterprising bully boys," self-interested predators who behaved frequently like the marauding vikings whose descendants they were. In both cases, they served their king but also took every opportunity to grab what they could for themselves. Canute's hold on England didn't last but William's did, and how the Norman lords, who became England's barons, enhanced their wealth -- which meant the scope of their landholdings -- shaped the way the nation developed. Fleming's thesis is that, while the king generally gets the credit for England's growing prosperity and "institutional precocity" during the first century after the Norman Conquest, it was actually the barons who did most of the work, not only through their own avarice but as a result of their complex relationship with the Crown. By the nature of his position, the king was rather an isolated figure, the central player in the chronicles. A study of alliances and the acquisition of property among the great landed families one step below the king, however, leads to a picture of the geographical and economic balance that developed in the kingdom. Those alliances were personal relationships, both by intermarriage (in which the monarch did not participate during this early period) and the resulting conglomeration of estates and by military linkages (often an arrangement by several less powerful lords in opposition to and in balance against a single great lord).

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