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The Domesday Quest: In search of the Roots of England [Kindle Edition]

Michael Wood
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In 1086, Domesday Book, perhaps the most remarkable historical document in existence, was compiled. This tremendous story of England and its people was made at the behest of the Norman king William the Conqueror. It was called Domesday, the day of judgement, because 'like the day of judgement, its decisions are unalterable'. In Search of the Roots of England is not only a study of the ancient manuscript but an attempt to analyse the world that Domesday Book so vividly portrayed. By skilful use of the Domesday record historian Michael Wood examines Norman society and the Anglo-Saxon, Roman, and even the Iron Age cultures that preceded it. 'Wood is a perceptive, entertaining and enthusiastic companion.' Sunday Times 'Wood is a lively storyteller.' Washington Post

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 753 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Digital (31 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005R20UNI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,059 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original Edition Recommended 18 May 2012
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a comparative review between the original 1986 edition, titled `Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England', and the 2005 `The Domesday Quest: In Search of the Roots of England'. In short, I would recommend anyone wanting to read this book to buy a copy of the original, and I explain why at the end. In the meantime, I comment on some of the book's contents.

In his revised 2005 preface, Wood informs us that the book was originally written for the nine-hundredth anniversary of Domesday, but, in a newly-devolved union, "now that almost two decades have passed ... it is plain that England and Great Britain have gone through more dramatic and far-reaching changes than could ever have been foreseen in the mid eighties." But this preface is virtually the only substantially-modified part of the new edition, and even here, using the word `substantial' is an overstatement.

In his introduction Wood states that, "The argument of this book is that some of the fundamental traits in English culture - for instance, marriage, property and inheritance customs, and what has been termed `English individualism' - are rooted earlier than Domesday." He argues that Domesday Book can assist in presenting "a view, inevitably selective, of the thousand-year period from the late Roman world ... to the fourteenth century ... a series of close-ups of certain landscapes, certain places and characteristic medieval societies." And this is what he then proceeds to do.

His known admiration for the Anglo-Saxon state is made manifest in part one's third and fourth sentences: "The Normans were relative newcomers to the European scene, descendants from pagan Viking adventurers who had settled in the Seine valley in 911.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living in England 1 Jan. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book tackles a phenomenally difficult subject and does so with a verve so seldom found in a truly scholarly work such as this is. Wood marshals his information in such a way as to make his conclusions which to some scholars might seem a far-fetched utterly convincing. It is splendid to mark the way in which he uses all sources of information, archaeological as well as written iin order to back up his conclusions. In the process he paints a vivid almost photographic picture of living in England in the various periods with which he deals. What a contrast to the plodding dryasdust historian who sticks to the facts as he/she sees them and refuses to speculate. When Wood speculates, and he often does, he has has always a body of information on which to do it.
A splendid piece of work however you look at it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Anglo-Saxon story 17 July 2013
The book presents a useful introduction to the Anglo-Saxon period of Britain. However, developments in genetics, archaeology, linguistics and significantly stable isotope analysis on burials, are gradually questioning the traditional account of the early phase. Indeed the reported indigenous Britons may have been a pre Roman Germanic-speaking people residing alongside the Welsh, Gaels and Picts, faced with the 5th century AD incursions of Saxons, Angles and other groups of settlers described in the text. See for example
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Doomsday Quest by Michael Woods (on KIndle)" 17 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a great fan of Michael Woods who is a professional historian who can communicate to any intelligent reader viewer. "The Doomsday Quest." is a case in point. He introduces the genesis of William the Conqueror's record of land held by most of England's native population and their Norman conquerors. He goes on to describe it's impact on the country's history thereafter until recent times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential and entertaining reading 28 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Michael Wood is unique in his ability to bring the past to life. This analysis, offering explanation for the genetic markers for Viking immigration and pre Roman ancestry is compelling. A must read book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and revealing insight. 13 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Michael Woods work ,as always, is most interesting and brings an individual and personal aspect to his subject. You can feel the poeple refered to are as real as your neighbours albeit in very different circumstances. An excellent read. Be glad you were not at the lower end of the Norman social scale.
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