Castle is an enlightening look at the origins, development and decline of castles in Britain. A real castle is a fortress and a stately home all rolled into one. This is part of what makes these extraordinary structures so fascinating they are a product of two contradictory impulses to be warlike and homely at the same time. The castle occupies an easily definable place in British history introduced to Britain as a result of the Norman Conquest in 1066, it was not until the middle of the seventeenth century, as a result of the English Civil War, that castles were destroyed and abandoned on a large scale and the story draws to a close. Medieval historian and presenter Marc Morris focuses on a range of castles across England, Scotland and Wales, and explores their humble origins as timber buildings to the development of stone towers and keeps used in siege warfare. Among the castles featured are the tower of London, Dover, Rochester, Caerphilly, Caernarfon, Rhuddlan, Bodiam, Threave, Borthwick, Urquhart, Raglan and Pontefract. He also uncovers the lives of the inhabitants, examining the peculiarities of domestic life in a castle and the workings of an aristocratic household. Castle brings back to life the kings and queens, damsels and knights, sieges and tournaments that were once a part of these magical buildings.
Dr Marc Morris is an historian and broadcaster, specialising in the Middle Ages. He is the author of the bestselling A Great and Terrible King (Hutchinson, 2008) and The Norman Conquest (Windmill, 2013).
In 2003 Marc presented the highly acclaimed TV series Castle for Channel 4 and wrote its accompanying book (now published in paperback by Hutchinson). He has also contributed to other history programmes on radio and television.
An expert on medieval monarchy and aristocracy, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Marc has written numerous articles for History Today, BBC History Magazine and Heritage Today (now published together as an e-book, Kings and Castles).
For more information, including details of upcoming talks and tours, visit www.marcmorris.org.uk or www.facebook.com/marcmorrishistorian.