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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about forts
It does not matter if you all ready are a "fort-geek" or some one, who just want a book on the topic: This book will for sure please you.
"The Medieval Fortress" is a nice big (app. 11" x 8.5" or 28,5 x 22 cm), 319p. book, which covers the development of fortified places through out Europe and North-Africa from the early to the late middle ages - when the forts had...
Published on 10 Sep 2002 by baboonsbookreview

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very informative
i am immensely interested in castles and fortification so when i saw this book i bought it straight away. after being very impressed with how many different areas and castles etc were in the book, this soon gave way to disappointment with certain aspects... mainly the spelling!
but by far the most disappointing is the quality of the photos, all are black and white...
Published on 8 Aug 2010 by rob_hawke


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about forts, 10 Sep 2002
By 
baboonsbookreview (Højbjerg, Denmark) - See all my reviews
It does not matter if you all ready are a "fort-geek" or some one, who just want a book on the topic: This book will for sure please you.
"The Medieval Fortress" is a nice big (app. 11" x 8.5" or 28,5 x 22 cm), 319p. book, which covers the development of fortified places through out Europe and North-Africa from the early to the late middle ages - when the forts had their glory.
The book is built up of five main chapters. The First deals with the elements of a fortification; the Second deals in general with the different kind of fortifications in different parts of Europe (Islamic, Byzantine, Frankish, British, Norse, Slavic and Magyar (Hungarian)); the Third does the same, but with emphasis on the emerging castle; the Fourth chapter introduces gunpowder and the decline of the high castle walls through the description of several sieges (Constantinople, Rhodes, and siege of fortifications during the Reconquista); Chapter Five goes in depth with some selected fortifications in Europe: Some of the more famous ones and some more obscure. The reader is guided through fortifications/castles in Great Britain, Ireland, France, Low Countries, Switzerland, Holy Roman Empire, Scandinavia, Central Europe (present day Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary, and Slovenia) Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Eastern Mediterranean, Italy, Spain&Portugal, and North Africa. The appendixes gives the names of some more important builders and architects and their titles in different languages (French, Portugese, Spanish, Duch, Sweedish, and Russian), a chronology of important sieges from 623 (Constantinople) to 1529 (Vienna), a history of medival artillery and a glossary.
There are endless amounts of B/W pictures alongside with even more B/W line drawings and plans of forts, just like on the front cover of the book.
This book is a very good buy!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, fantastic value., 4 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Medieval Fortresses: Castles, Forts and Walled Cities of the Middle Ages (Paperback)
I have to admit to being a little reticent, many books about Castles end up being aimed at the younger market and lack any real depth. This is spot on. Very well researched, it manages to be factual enough to make me want to read it and come back to it, while not being so heavy that you feel you are reading a research paper.
My only criticisms are minor: may of the diagrams are labeled with many numbers and the keys that accompany the diagrams do not have all the labels defined, this does not detract from core information - but I found it very frustrating to see a diagram with 20 labels and only 5 of them defined. The photographs are often quite dark and a little tired - I was surprised to see that it was published so recently - the photos look like they have come out of a 1960 academic book.
But these are very small issues that should not detract from a very good book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost the best, 12 Aug 2004
This is the most interesting book I have read on this subject. It begins with lots of nice drawings on castle features, variations of type, and also some very good illustrations of siege operations. The rest of the book, in fact most of the book, is a huge collection of castle plans and in depth analysis of each castles history and defensive qualities.
I am sad that this book could not have gone further to illustrate many architectural construction features. For instance, there is nothing about stair or roof construction, or for that matter, a simple Norman motte and bailey.
A book for the serious medieval historian and model maker, but could have gone a lot further with many more diagrams. Is it worth the money? YES!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very informative, 8 Aug 2010
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This review is from: The Medieval Fortresses: Castles, Forts and Walled Cities of the Middle Ages (Paperback)
i am immensely interested in castles and fortification so when i saw this book i bought it straight away. after being very impressed with how many different areas and castles etc were in the book, this soon gave way to disappointment with certain aspects... mainly the spelling!
but by far the most disappointing is the quality of the photos, all are black and white which in itself wouldnt be too bad, but some of the photos are of such poor quality that they really shouldnt be in there. a book like this should really have had great quality colour photos to really show off the defensive qualities of each castle, fort etc.

but other than that, a very informative book to make you want to explore the places in person.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice series, 22 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Medieval Fortresses: Castles, Forts and Walled Cities of the Middle Ages (Paperback)
It may be an easier approach to middle-ages for the novice than Viollet-le-Duc's dictionary, but still I appreciated the story telling from an epoch to another.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as you expect it!, 26 Feb 2013
By 
Jacob la Cour (Hellerup, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Medieval Fortresses: Castles, Forts and Walled Cities of the Middle Ages (Paperback)
This book is everything it promises!! It is a very detailed treatment of the various types of fortresses in Europe (and Africa) from the earliest days until around 1600. It is superbly illustrated with fantastically detailed drawings and maps of the various fortresses as well as lots of (B/W) pictures of the current state of many of the treated locations. You want to take this book and go sightseeing in all these faboulous ruins and castles all over Europe.
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