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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good overview...
If you are looking for a good, broad overview of the subject then you'll find this book adequate. Can be read cover to cover or dipped into as you see fit. Excellent photography and illustrations add to the richness of the text. Perfect for the armchair historian or anyone looking to broaden their knowledge.
Published on 27 Feb 2004 by Stucumber

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Several authors, varying quality
This book on medieval England (not Britain) is no introduction to the subject : the reader is expected to already have some basic knowledge of the political background, for instance. They are also expected to know England's past and present geography (old Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, towns, present counties, etc) since no map is provided.

The first chapter gives a...
Published on 15 Aug 2011 by Sbo


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good overview..., 27 Feb 2004
By 
Stucumber "Stucumber" (N. Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England (Paperback)
If you are looking for a good, broad overview of the subject then you'll find this book adequate. Can be read cover to cover or dipped into as you see fit. Excellent photography and illustrations add to the richness of the text. Perfect for the armchair historian or anyone looking to broaden their knowledge.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Medieval England, 5 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England (Paperback)
I found this to be an excellent, well research book that gives a broad view of medieval life. It is well illustrated in colour and black and white. I would recommend this book for anyone with a basic knowledge of Medieval history wishing to learn more.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book, 10 Jun 2009
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I. R. Perez (Madrid, Spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England (Paperback)
This is a very good introduction to Medieval England. The authors of the different chapters are specialists in their fields. Although the book has several authors, there is a sense of unity among them. And the illustrations contribute wonderfully to the comprehension of this era.
Recommended to everyone who needs a first insight into Medieval England. Also to all those who want a complete overview of this period.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Several authors, varying quality, 15 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England (Paperback)
This book on medieval England (not Britain) is no introduction to the subject : the reader is expected to already have some basic knowledge of the political background, for instance. They are also expected to know England's past and present geography (old Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, towns, present counties, etc) since no map is provided.

The first chapter gives a general overview of what will be developed later in the book. Let's consider it an introduction. Then come three chapters (Anglo-Saxon England c. 500-1066; Conquered England 1066-1215; Late medieval England 1215-1485) that deal with political history (kings, battles, the ruling elite).

Other aspects of medieval history are presented in the next chapters, each of them covering the entire Middle Ages from the Anglo-Saxon period to the end of the 14th century or the 15th century. It is where other social layers come to life.
I particularly enjoyed "Piety, Religion, and Church" and "Language and Literature".

Henrietta Leyser's style is lively, she gives several examples, manages to conjure up images, and really "shows" how the monastic and secular branches of the English Church evolved and how religion was part of ordinary people's life.
In "Language and Literature", Derek Pearsall explains how the English language evolved from Old English to Middle English, its roots and influences, its place among other languages of the time (Latin and Anglo-Norman). Literature and other written pieces are mentioned for each of the three medieval periods, from Beowulf to the material gathered by the Friars in the miscellanies they used for their sermons and to Langland and Chaucer. The information is put in perspective. The author indicates, for instance, that the relative importance of a language influences the preservation of the texts written in that language (official documents are better kept, for instance). Some reflections in that chapter are easily transferable to other languages, countries and period of times, which comes as a real bonus.

I was disappointed with the chapter on Visual Art, a kind of long listing. Works of art are described in (excessive?) detail and much insisting on technical aspects... but without any photo on the opposite page. In find the editor or the publisher doesn't deal with the illustrations adequately in that chapter: the reader is faced with "see colour plate"... and no plate to look at. They have to take the initiative to search the table of colour plates at the beginning of the book for the page with the appropriate plate. Pages with illustrations in black and white are better indicated but the reader is sometimes sent over 100 pages away from the description! In addition, Nicola Coldstream doesn't clearly relate the techniques or art currents to cultural characteristics that would be typically English. Only rarely does she mention artistic changes that might indicate the mentalities have evolved, and she doesn't help the reader reflect on what visual arts tell of a society and a period of time.

All in all, this book is worth reading and some of the colour plates are beautiful. Don't hesitate picking it from your local library.

(This review is based on the paperback edition of 2000.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars oxford, 9 Nov 2013
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book arrived in excellent condition.This an excellent way of introduction to the medieval period in this country.
I would recommend this volume to anybody.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview, 4 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England (Paperback)
The essay are very good and give a first overview. Sometimes the style of writing is a bit confusing, but the overall information you are getting are very well researched and presented.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medieval England, 11 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England (Paperback)
This is an excellent introduction to the subject, with a particularly useful chapter on the medieval economy. It comes highly recommended for anyone who wants to dip their toe into the waters of medieval English history, covering a period stretching from the age of Bede to the Battle of Bosworth and the dawning of the Tudor dynasty. It is also amply illustrated and contains helpful family trees tracing the lineage of the Kings of England.

Anyone who's interested in the history and the essence of England and Englishness will find this book worthwhile.
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The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England
The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England by Nigel Saul (Paperback - 2 Nov 2000)
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