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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a classic work, but history also ages
First published in 1953, this current, second edition is of 1962 vintage. Powicke reviews the history of England in the critical 13th century - Wales gets 50 pages, Scotland and Ireland warrant a separate chapter, and the Celtic nations will make significant appearances throughout the work. This is an era which shaped Scottish independence: it therefore shaped the...
Published on 17 July 2005 by Budge Burgess

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy weather
Very detailed and heavy going. IMHO, not one for a "good read" in the sense of being glued to the pages---but to be read at a few pages a day, perhaps with a glass of whisky and some aspirin to hand.
Published 8 months ago by El Rodrigo


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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a classic work, but history also ages, 17 July 2005
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Thirteenth Century 1216-1307: 4 (Oxford History of England) (Hardcover)
First published in 1953, this current, second edition is of 1962 vintage. Powicke reviews the history of England in the critical 13th century - Wales gets 50 pages, Scotland and Ireland warrant a separate chapter, and the Celtic nations will make significant appearances throughout the work. This is an era which shaped Scottish independence: it therefore shaped the dimensions of England. Perhaps more than any other century, during the 13th the shaping and institutionalisation of England was as much effected and affected by the politics of nationhood within the island as by politics within England or the role of Continental Europe.
These are the years of the creation of England - the solidification of its boundaries and Anglicisation of its language, monarchy, and even its church. These are the years where the English thoroughly differentiate themselves from the French and European influences, evolving a soundly English model of kingship and of the centralised state which stands in contrast to the feudal monarchies which would persist across the Channel.
Powicke writes in a very fluid, accessible style. It's a big volume, some 800 pages, and not, perhaps, one you would be likely to choose for bedtime reading. It remains an impressive study of the era, one to which a student might still refer for a general overview. It remains an influential tome ... but, it's more than half a century old, so it's a work which you need to cross-reference and cross check against the particular and the specific. The style and perspective of English history has changed somewhat since Powicke wrote, so read this in conjunction with other, more modern accounts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly and fascinating, 28 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Thirteenth Century 1216-1307: 4 (Oxford History of England) (Hardcover)
I bought this book for background reading as I'm writing a novel set in that period. It is a classic, excellently researched and providing a balanced view of events. As expected from the series, it's comprehensive in its analysis of personalities, events and politics. You need to bear in mind, though, that it was first written in 1953; time (and writing style) have moved on since then; paragraphs and sentences are long and sometimes an effort to read. Chosen at random, one sentence was seven lines long, perfectly grammatical and sensible, but I had to re-read it. They don't write 'em like that any more! And, of course, the book focuses on the 'top end' - peasants don't get much of a look in unless, of course, they're revolting!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is what I wanted and expected, 29 April 2014
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This review is from: The Thirteenth Century 1216-1307: 4 (Oxford History of England) (Hardcover)
The Oxford History of England is a well known and useful basis for the study of English History It is what it is. Authors of individual volumes are all well known historical authorities. They have done a good job.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: The Thirteenth Century 1216-1307: 4 (Oxford History of England) (Hardcover)
A Best Buy
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a classic work, but history also ages, 17 July 2005
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
First published in 1953, this current, second edition is of 1962 vintage. Powicke reviews the history of England in the critical 13th century - Wales gets 50 pages, Scotland and Ireland warrant a separate chapter, and the Celtic nations will make significant appearances throughout the work. This is an era which shaped Scottish independence: it therefore shaped the dimensions of England. Perhaps more than any other century, during the 13th the shaping and institutionalisation of England was as much effected and affected by the politics of nationhood within the island as by politics within England or the role of Continental Europe.
These are the years of the creation of England - the solidification of its boundaries and Anglicisation of its language, monarchy, and even its church. These are the years where the English thoroughly differentiate themselves from the French and European influences, evolving a soundly English model of kingship and of the centralised state which stands in contrast to the feudal monarchies which would persist across the Channel.
Powicke writes in a very fluid, accessible style. It's a big volume, some 800 pages, and not, perhaps, one you would be likely to choose for bedtime reading. It remains an impressive study of the era, one to which a student might still refer for a general overview. It remains an influential tome ... but, it's more than half a century old, so it's a work which you need to cross-reference and cross check against the particular and the specific. The style and perspective of English history has changed somewhat since Powicke wrote, so read this in conjunction with other, more modern accounts.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy weather, 18 Nov. 2014
By 
El Rodrigo (Frome, Somerset, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Thirteenth Century 1216-1307: 4 (Oxford History of England) (Hardcover)
Very detailed and heavy going. IMHO, not one for a "good read" in the sense of being glued to the pages---but to be read at a few pages a day, perhaps with a glass of whisky and some aspirin to hand.
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The Thirteenth Century 1216-1307: 4 (Oxford History of England)
The Thirteenth Century 1216-1307: 4 (Oxford History of England) by Sir Maurice Powicke (Hardcover - 26 Mar. 1963)
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