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The Normans in Sicily: The Normans in the South, 1016-1130 and the Kingdom in the Sun, 1130-1194 Paperback – 24 Sep 1992

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Product details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (24 Sept. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140152121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140152128
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 564,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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First Sentence
To the traveller, heading eastwards from Foggia to the sea, the gaunt grey shadow of Monte Gargano looms over the plain like a thundercloud. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Dr. D. P. Weston on 4 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
John Julius Norwich breathes life into this tale of the sons of Tancred de Hautvilles in the sun drenched climes of southern Italy. The history begins with the arrival of the brothers Hautville and describes their rise from brigands and horse thieves to duke of Apulia (Robert Guiscard, who, by the end of his life, had emperors of east and west on the run and the pope eating out of his hand) and Count of Sicily (Roger, who laid the foundations for the kingdom of sicily). The character of the men and women desribed shines through the pages, described in Norwichs easy, enthusiastic style. They don't write novels or make films like this. Too much happens in real life, and yet Norwich delivers his narrative with great clarity allowing the actions of the characters to speak for themselves. I liked it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 May 2015
Format: Paperback
This is a relatively old book, or, more accurately, it is two books initially published separately in 1967 and 1970, which can currently be bought together as a single volume. These two volumes tell the rather extraordinary story of “The Normans in the South” (the title of the first book) up to the crowning of Roger II as their first King in 1130, and of “The Kingdom in the Sun” which he founded but which only lasted some 64 years down to 1194 when the last Norman King died and the Kingdom was overrun by the German Emperor.

Together, the two books add up to a bit more than 750 pages of text, plus the bibliography and a few other things that bring the grand total close to 800. They can, of course, be read separately, although I think it preferable to read them together and one after the other in order to get the full and continuous story. Both volumes include maps of Southern Italy and Sicily which allow the reader to closely “follow the action.”

At first sight, the overall size could seem daunting and could put off a general reader for which these books were written. This, however, would be a pity, because such a first impression would be quite misleading. This is because the two books read almost like historical novels, as opposed to pieces of first-class scholarship. In fact, they are neither one nor the other, but something in between and this is largely what makes them so valuable up to this day.

Despite the author’s modesty and claim to be no scholar, they are meticulously researched and backed by a rather impressive bibliography, even if it is no longer up to date. They are not, however, the “usual” pieces of academic scholarship that you might expect because the author strived, and, in my view, fully succeeded, in making them lively.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Moises-enrique Rodriguez on 22 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
Like the other Norwich I have read (on Venice), simply MARVELLOUS. The author combines extremely thorough research with a style that is easy and enjoyable to read. Look forward to reading his Bizantium & all the rest.
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Format: Paperback
The book was delivered speedily and in good condition. I'm very satisfied. Thank you.
The book is just what I needed to get in the know for our holiday.
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