Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England (Classics) Paperback – 2 Aug 1990
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In his revised 2005 preface, Wood informs us that the book was originally written for the nine-hundredth anniversary of Domesday, but, in a newly-devolved union, "now that almost two decades have passed ... it is plain that England and Great Britain have gone through more dramatic and far-reaching changes than could ever have been foreseen in the mid eighties." But this preface is virtually the only substantially-modified part of the new edition, and even here, using the word `substantial' is an overstatement.
In his introduction Wood states that, "The argument of this book is that some of the fundamental traits in English culture - for instance, marriage, property and inheritance customs, and what has been termed `English individualism' - are rooted earlier than Domesday." He argues that Domesday Book can assist in presenting "a view, inevitably selective, of the thousand-year period from the late Roman world ... to the fourteenth century ... a series of close-ups of certain landscapes, certain places and characteristic medieval societies." And this is what he then proceeds to do.
His known admiration for the Anglo-Saxon state is made manifest in part one's third and fourth sentences: "The Normans were relative newcomers to the European scene, descendants from pagan Viking adventurers who had settled in the Seine valley in 911.Read more ›
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