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The Norman Conquest by [Morris, Marc]
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The Norman Conquest Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Length: 468 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Almost everything you know about 1066 is wrong. And there’s no better historian to put you right than the wonderful Marc Morris. His new book grips not only as a work of narrative history but also as a sleuthing exercise . . . Morris has captured the triumph and the tragedy of this tumultuous era with verve, insight and a rollicking narrative." (Mail on Sunday)

"Morris gives a compelling account of the invasion by William the Conqueror in 1066 ... Confidently, he opens with the Bayeux Tapestry as a powerful contemporary depiction of a famous battle ... Morris sorts embroidery from evidence and provides a much-needed, modern account of the Normans in England that respects past events more than present ideologies." (Iain Finlayson The Times)

"Marc Morris’s lively new book retells the story of the Norman invasion with vim, vigour and narrative urgency" (Evening Standard)

"As every schoolboy knows, or used to, 1066 is the most important date in English history. But as Marc Morris points out in this enormously enjoyable book, the Norman conquest was much more violent, complicated and ambiguous then we usually think. Carefully steering the reader through the partisan and often contradictory sources, he paints a vivid picture of the collapse of the sophisticated Anglo-Saxon realm, and shows how William the Conqueror relied on sheer terror to establish his reign. Even a Norman chronicler admitted that William had “mercilessly slaughtered” the English, “like the scourge of God smiting them for their sins." (Dominic Sandbrook The Sunday Times, Books of the Year)

"I loved it – a suitably epic account of one of the most seismic and far-reaching events in British history." (Dan Snow)

Book Description

The definitive account for our times of a pivotal moment in English history

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9476 KB
  • Print Length: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (29 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0070UIEDS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,812 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent account of this most pivotal event in English history, told in a very readable and engaging way, while never sacrificing a proper critical use of the primary sources, drawing on the works of the contemporary or near-contemporary chroniclers from England and Normandy, the Anglo Saxon Chronicle and (of course) the Bayeux Tapestry. In fact it is really a political and military history of the whole eleventh century from the Viking raids on Ethelred's England until the death of the Conqueror in France in 1087. It certainly was a turbulent and extremely colourful period, of which the Norman Conquest and, more specifically, the Battle of Hastings, is undoubtedly the best known event, but which must be understood in the context of its time, with Normandy as a fairly recently emerged duchy, and England having its large Danish influence. The artefacts that are so well known, i.e. the Tapestry and the Domesday Book, are unique survivals of their kind, without which our knowledge of the period would be much poorer. In his introduction, the author laments the paucity of sources for the 11th century compared to those present just two centuries later which he used in his previous book on Edward I, A Great and Terrible King; for example thanks to surviving documents, we know where Edward I was for almost every day of his reign, but very rarely exactly where William was. Paradoxically, I think the fact that so much has to be squeezed out of so few sources makes this book a much smoother read than his book on Edward I; that, and to some extent, my greater familiarity with the detailed course of events. Thoroughly recommended.
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By JPS TOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Mar. 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This perhaps one of the best books – and certainly one of the best ones – for someone who is looking for a comprehensive overview of the Norman Conquest of England. While written in an engaging style for the so-called “general reader”, it is also an excellent starting point for whoever intends to “get more involved” with the various and multiple aspects related to the Conquest.

While, as a biography, it may not be as good as Douglas’ or David Bates’ biographies of William the Conqueror, it is more recent and therefore more up to date. It does however contain many elements of the Conqueror’s life, post pre and post Conquest, since this is both necessary and unavoidable to understand the events, and in particular William’s determination and relentlessness. Among the most up to dates elements are the developments related to the so-called Bayeux Tapestry (with which the book begins), but also assessments drawn from scholarly studies of the Domesday Survey and the Domesday Books (the plural is intentional as you will find out when reading the book) on the impact of the Norman Conquest on the society of the invaded and occupied country.

The author does make, as another reviewer has already mentioned, an excellent job of using, interpreting and reconciling the primary sources, including charters. He also, and just as importantly, has a talent for synthetizing and summarising in an entertaining way the huge amount of secondary sources.

This, for instance, allows Marc Morris to include some useful developments of the Normans in Normandy and the origins and history of the Duchy before 1066, which are partly drawn from David Bates’ works.
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Marc Morris is the absolutely 'go to' historian for this period. He brings the past alive for the modern reader, and in the process shows that the Conquest was far more violent than most readers will have imagined. In demolishing a relatively sophisticated Anglo-Saxon society, William changed the landscape forever; while the terror and brutality he brought to the terrible episode, known as the 'Harrying of the North', was and is regarded as one of the most horrendous incidents in English History; causing more than 100,000 poor and defenceless people to die of famine, and scarring the whole region North of the Humber for generations to come.
A powerful and disturbing book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a terrific read. That it was written by an expert in the field helps, true, but I could not put this down. I enjoyed it so much that before I had even finished it, I had ordered Mr Morris' book on Edward I.

The Norman Conquest is packed with detail, but at the same time it's very readable; suitable for academic historians and just those who want to know more about the Normans.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found it very easy to follow without being patronising. It seemed very balanced in appraising the conquest from the point of view of the conquerors and vanquished. It gave an excellent amount of detail without being tedious. I am now officially a mark Morris superfan!
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Very good book
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Marc grips you with facts and figures you didn't know and fills in the gaps you needed to know about everyone at that time-fascinating read
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Academically solid but Marc is not afraid to voice his opinion and interpretations. I really enjoyed reading it - refreshing!
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