France in the Central Middle Ages: 900-1200 (Short Oxford History of France) Paperback – 6 Feb 2003
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'One regrets that, in Paterson's case, not all work cited and sometimes contested can be identified, either in the book's grudging footnotes or in the lists for further reading. Perhaps this could be rectified at the time of reprinting. Such a small blemish does not spoil this enterprising collection, which suggests some interesting answers to the question with which this review began.' (Christopher Allmand, University of Liverpool, History vol 89, issue 1, number 293)
Contributed by a leading team of historians, each chapter in this volume in the Short Oxford History of France focuses on a key theme of the period, such as France's political culture and identity, rural economy and society, the Church, intellectual history, and France's relations with the outside world. Beginning in 900, the volume is able to trace the emergence of France as a country, and the people's sense of national identity. Encompassing every region of France and covering key events, such as the election of Hugh Capet as King in 987 and the Norman conquest of England in 1066, this volume provides a fully rounded and lively introduction to the history of France in the central middle ages.See all Product description
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It's a challenging read, but it's never dry. It answered my questions and made look forward to reading more. Outside of knowing some key points of English history and the crusades you really don't need much to get the full enjoyment out of this book. I've never really appoached a new subject in a non-narrative way but this book has made me less skittish if it happens again. I hope to get my hands on the next volume of this series soon.