on 13 September 2000
Clanchy's book has for many years become the standard text book for colleges and University history dept book lists covering this period. First published in 1983, this new second edition includes a newly added epilogue covering the rule of Edward I and takes the book through to 1307, so the title is a bit out of date. The book starts by giving the reader a general view of Englands political and economic position during the middle ages prior to the conquest by William in 1066. The following chapters cover the Norman conquest and how they stamped their authority on England covering the problems of their early government and church reform. Part two of the book moves on to the Angevin rulers of England with the civil wars of Stephen, law and order and the twelfth century renaissance. Part three covers the Poitevins from 1199 -1275 with the newly added epilogue on Edward I. Clanchy's book is an excellent read and well worth reading.
on 23 February 2004
This book is very readable, but has some rather large omissions for a piece of work covering 1066-1272.
While William the Conqueror is, as usual with books on this period, covered in good depth, William Rufus, Henry I and Stephen/Matilda are all covered with such brevity that it is hardly worth mentioning them at all.
Should the above monarchs, be ones you hope to learn anything about, I would advise you to look elsewhere.
On a positive note, the book is very readable and does contain some strong points, just be aware before you buy, of its limitations.