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Castle: A History of the Buildings that Shaped Medieval Britain Hardcover – 2 May 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Channel 4 Books (2 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752215361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752215365
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Marc Morris is an historian and broadcaster, specialising in the Middle Ages. He is the author of King John: Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta (Hutchinson 2015), The Norman Conquest (Windmill, 2013) and A Great and Terrible King (Windmill, 2009).

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.


Product Description

Review

An interesting political overview of each period of castle building. -- Oxford Times, June 2003

Book Description

A unique look at the history of some of most treasured castles in Britain. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Turner on 6 Nov. 2003
Format: Hardcover
A fantastic resume of the history of the Castle over the years. No need to have watched the programme as the authors descriptions and diagrams allow your mind to illustrate all the mystery and facts surrounding a great British (or was it French!) tradition. A tribute to the author is the fact that you can't put it down. When will he write another and what will the subject be?????
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 7 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
Much better than the usual picture book accompanying the TV series - an excellent introduction to castles and the reasons for them.
Only real criticism, it would benefit from a few more maps and illustrations to go with the descriptions of sites.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SMG on 14 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting and very readable book. Marc Morris explains the evolution of the castle and how it has worked (or not) at different times in history. He really has brought the subject to life. He tells us about the people who built castles and examines what they wanted from their own particular version of it. This book was as gripping as any thriller!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sally Walker on 10 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This book brings castles alive like no other. When I was young I loved visiting castles with my parents and we always bought the booklet about each particular castle. To a tee they were dry, largely inedible reading fodder. I was left entirely to my child's imagination as to how the castle functioned, whether anybody had lived in it and if so how they had lived in it. These booklets always told you who had built the castle in question and when, but they never told you why, what their motivation had been.

Marc Morris tells us all these things and much more. One becomes gripped by the successive stories that he lays before you each in a highly accessible, unstuffy and entertaining way. The book has a definite and logical structure to it, set out in the chronological sequence of castle building in England, Wales and Scotland. Each particular era of castle building is set within its political and monarchical context.

Because of this book I will now be able to visit castles with much more knowledge than before and so these visits will become that much more enjoyable. If only it had been available 40 years ago!

I highly recommend this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Neil Collarbon on 18 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
Castle: A History of Buildings That Shaped Medieval Britain

Castle, by Marc Morris is in his own words not meant to be 'a guide to castles, nor a comprehensive gazetteer'; it is an invitation to us, the reader to think, read and visit castles ourselves to pursue our interest in them - it is the seed, not the tree itself.

However, Marc Morris has written a thoroughly interesting and informative story of the Castle's history which fits perfectly alongside his TV series of the same name. It starts from the creation of Castles in England until the English Civil War when the Castle had its last stand (to use the last chapter's title) - it will make you want to visit and experience them for yourself.

A great read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By antiolka on 7 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book without any prior knowledge, just chose it on Amazon for some reason.
It turned out to be a very engaging and informative read. Marc Morris is an excellent writer, the topic of castle history can be very boring, but he manages to make it exciting, fascinating and entertaining! He suggests several criteria to look for while evaluating castles and suggests the structure into which to classify your knowledge about castles. He chooses one particular example of a "typical" castle for each epoch and covers its history in great detail while providing info about other castle of the period.
I am in love with this book and I can't recommend it enough to anyone who wants to learn about British castles.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jun. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent companion to Morris' television series of
the same title, even as it stands on its own as a highly
entertaining and informative read. Morris retains in print
the same combination of historical knowledge and narrative
accessibility that he brings to the screen. By focusing not
just on the political and military motivations for castle-
building but also on the personalities and domestic circumstances
of those who built them, he has produced a book that should
appeal to a variety of readers. Not to be missed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bart Coessens on 30 May 2012
Format: Paperback
A really excellent book on the architecture, history, and politics behind castles. Not only do we learn how they were built, but why, and why at that precise location. Furthermore it is all done in a very captivating style, that makes you want to go and visit the places. This is my third book I've read by Mr. Morris ("The Norman Conquest" and "A great and terrible King"), they are all great and very informative reads. An absolute must for everyone interested in (English) medieval history.
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