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William the Conqueror - the Norman Impact Upon England Leather Bound – January 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Leather Bound
  • Publisher: Easton Press; Collector's Edition edition (1996)
  • ASIN: B0010OY9XY
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,282,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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It is a very well researched book.
Daniel Lengyel
The sections of the book concerning battles are very well done, and provide good details on the tactics, strategies, and terrains.
STEPHEN MATTOX
I highly recommended this book to anyone with interest on the subject.
JH

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
There is history written in the popular mode, and there is history written in the scholarly mode. David Howarth's "1066" is a fine example of the former--- wrong on many small details, but engaging, thought-provoking in its conjectural recreations of the personalities of men long dead. But Howarth's book suffers from some of the inherent bias of popular history: it pleads the case of the oppressed Saxons and fancifully fleshes out those things for which we lack concrete evidence, often to support the author's own overarching vision of these events.
David C. Douglas is not a prejudicial dilettante. He is one of those hard-nosed, dust-covered, meticulous, and magnificent English historians with the fortitude and knowledge to plumb countless ancient charters and other such arcana in pursuit of fact; in the hall of modern historians, he is in the brilliant company of A.L. Poole, R.W. Southern, Frank M. Stenton, K.B. McFarlane, and other such greats. His book on William is not a character study but a series of tautly-woven analyses of evidence. The problems and contradictions of these limited materials are discussed in the text, in the footnotes, in the copious appendices; and only once a myriad of possible readings of a given event has been mentioned (and referenced, should the reader wish to seek a cogent explication of a contrary thesis) does Douglas offer his own view of the matter.
This book is dense, difficult, slow, and laborious, but its interest is truth, understanding, and genuine illumination: it is not a flight of fancy but a History. People like this preserve the human past for the good of the human present and future. It is to the slow and patient scholar that we owe so much of what we actually know.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Lengyel on May 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in the Norman history or in the Norman impact upon England or just simply in a very exciting ruler of the eleventh century, this is a must read. The book depicts the complex and vivid life of the eleventh century through the life of one of the greatest monarchs of the eleventh century. I was especially interested in the first two sections of the book: The Young Duke and The Duke in his Duchy. In this chapters you can feel the pulse of the life of this era. It is a very well researched book. Whenever you feel that there is a gap in the story it is instantly filled by the excellent footnotes or by the appendixes. Every question of mine, which were raised out of my mind reading the book, were answered within few pages. The excellent description of the battles is another adventage of the book. Anyway you can say thousands of words boasting this book but you had better read it. It is a real MASTERPIECE with real capital letters.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By STEPHEN MATTOX on April 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is organized into 4 sections: The Young Duke, The Duke in his Duchy, The Establishment of the Anglo-Norman Kingdom, and The King in his Kingdom. This framework is perfectly logical and helps bring understanding to the life of William the Conqueror, one of the pivotal figures of the past 1000 years. Going into this book I knew about the Battle of Hastings and the Domesday Book; I also knew a little about the struggles between Anglo-Saxons and Normans after the conquest. But I knew nothing about the subject matter of the book's first two sections. Douglas does a terrific job of providing historical context to William's career. He explains the Viking origins of Normandy, and it's relations with the Viking kingdoms, England, France, and the Vatican. These all prove to be vital relations throughout William's life. What surprised me is how much turmoil William endured within Normandy itself, not only during his rise to power, but even after the conquest and until his death. These turmoils include his illegitimate birth, constantly shifting alliances, and the rebellion of his son. I knew of his military prowess, but his political abilities sustained him as much as anything, and Douglas does a good job of illuminating these abilities, particularly during that critical period immediately following the conquest, when Norman institutions were put into effect in England. The book explains not just the Norman influence on England, but the sort of reciprocal relationship that came to exist between kingdom and duchy. The sections of the book concerning battles are very well done, and provide good details on the tactics, strategies, and terrains. The book has the usual appendices of family trees (which help immensely when trying to understand some of the political landscape).Read more ›
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Georgiadis on April 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I noticed and purchased this book on pure whim, in one of those weird moods we sometimes enter when we want to learn about something of which we have absolutely no knowledge. I did absolutely no background reading, and simply jumped right in. Mistake? I think so. And yet I still feel as though I got a great deal out of this read. "William the Conqueror" is quite fascinating, it's a sort of English/Norman/French who's who in the late 11th century, and you get a great feel for the major players and their vacillating loyalties. On the other hand, there are periodic tangents (of biblical proportions, i.e. this duke married the slave girl of this count, whose mother was involved in the treacherous coup d'etatic plot of so and so, and so on for a while). Sans those occasional outburst of, truly, excess info - this is fantastic stuff. William was able to overcome (what I feel to be) more than insurmountable odds at the beginning of his rule to change the entire face and future of the English monarchy. We can only wonder what might Europe be like today had Harold been victorious at Hastings (he almost was!), and what impact it could have on us.
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