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The Normans: Warrior Knights and their Castles (General Military) Paperback – 10 May 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; New edition edition (10 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846032180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846032189
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,416,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


The Normans - Warrior Knights and their Castles may be the best account of the Normans since the creation of the Bayeux Tapestry. May I recommend the book -- I bet it's much easier to carry around. "Armchair General""

About the Author

Chris Gravett is a former Senior Curator at the Royal Armouries, Tower of London, and a recognised authority on the arms, armour and warfare of the medieval world. He has worked as an advisor for numerous TV and film productions, and has written many books for Osprey, including Warrior 1: 'Norman Knight 950-1204 AD'. He currently works as a curator at Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire. Born in 1944, David Nicolle worked in the BBC's Arabic service for a number of years before gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a doctorate from Edinburgh University. He has written numerous books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has been a prolific author of Osprey titles for many years.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have a vague recollection of being taught about the Battle of Hastings and the Norman conquest in school, but beyond these scraps of information about William the Conqueror and the Domesday Book, I knew very little about these Warrior People.

I therefore found this an enlightening look at the Normans, with a heavy emphasis on the Norman Military. It's refreshing for once, to be given a non anglo-centric perspective on the Normans, with information covering the Normans and their wars against the 'Celtic States', their campaigns in Italy, and the important role they played in the Crusades.

The book begins with a brief chronological timeline of the Norman military, covering the wars and battles of these people from AD 911 to 1287. The next section covers the history of the Normans, covering such topics as Feudalism, The Normans in Britain, and the wars in Italy and the Middle East. This section is rather short (covering about 72 pages in all), and is only meant to give you a basic outline of Norman History.

The second section covers the Norman Knight. This looks at the development of arms, armour and equipment, as well as training, logistics, tactics, and the Knight's motivations for fighting.
By far the largest part of the book is taken with describing Norman fortifications and castles. This section covers such topics as design and development, construction and cost, principles of defence, life in the castle, and the castle at war. Interesting subsections in this part of the book gives the reader a tour of castles such as Chateau-Gaillard and Dover Castle. The book ends with an Appendix (which discusses the sights of various Norman museums or castles) as well as a short bibliography for further reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x99c65120) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99d47894) out of 5 stars Warrior Knights And Their Castles 9 July 2006
By Kay's Husband - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For the last few years I have been buying books from Osprey on various military subjects. This lastest book from Osprey is a very well done book.

Anyone interested in medieval events can hardly side step the Normans, and if interest is at a higher level, this book is a "must have". While the book contains new and added material it was orginally published as separate Osprey softcover books: Elite #9 The Normans, Fortress #13 Norman Stone Castles (1)The British Isles 1066-1216, Fortress #18 Norman Stone Castles (2) Europe 950-1204, and Warrior #1 The Norman Knight AD 950-1204. The 256 pages in this single volume hold many pictures and illustrations, most in color. And at the inception, a wonderful Chronology lists historical information about the Normans beginning in AD 911 through AD 1287.

It may be time for you to discover Osprey Publishing, and there would no better book to do so than this one on the Normans; unless it would be the newly published volume on The Vikings! Good reading.

Semper Fi.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a0f396c) out of 5 stars Captivating military history of a Medieval power 26 April 2007
By Bruce Trinque - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Normans of the 11th and 12th centuries were simultaneously something less than a true nation and also an international superpower, blended from their Viking and French ancestors. They shaped the future of Britain and France and, to a considerable extent, the Mediterranean world. "The Normans" is a lively history of their far-ranging activities and military culture.

Gravett's book is essentially a hardcover reissue of several previous Osprey paperbacks about the Normans, reworked into a single coherent volume (which, true to its parents, is particularly strong on the subject of Norman fortifications), retaining the usual lavish Osprey illustrations. Where Osprey paperbacks tend to be quite pricey for their size, this new hardcover is a real bargain.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a1f0bd0) out of 5 stars Norman Knights and Their Castles 29 Aug. 2010
By JH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is mostly a survey of Norman knights and Norman castles, hence the title. 40 of the 250 pages are on Norman knights which covers their equipment and appearance, construction and repair of arms and armor, training, tactics (mostly related to cavalry), logistics on campaign, and motivation to become knights. There are several drawings of Norman soldiers and their equipment which bring the descriptions and key elements to life. There is also 135 pages on Norman stone castles. Stone castles should be highlighted because the book focuses on stone castles and avoids discussion on timber castles except as a backdrop. This section is organized by locality discussing design elements and development in Normandy, Southern Italy, Sicily, and Britain. There is also a more detailed look at two of the strongest Norman castles: Chateau-Gaillard and Dover. This is followed by sections about defensive aspects of Norman castles, life in a Norman castle, and examples of how Norman castles performed in war during sieges. Throughout this section are numerous pictures of Norman castles as they are today with captions highlighting design elements discussed in the book and graphical depictions of several Norman castles as built or modified by the Normans before they were altered by destruction or modification by later groups. In the appendix is a list of key fortified sites with location of the sites as well as short description of what remains today.

If you are looking for a true history of the Normans you should look elsewhere. There is some material on the origins and Norman impact on England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Sicily, and the east (Byzantium and the Crusader Kingdoms). However, this is very limited. I enjoyed the book as a complement to historical texts that I have already read or plan to read. The great pictures and visual aids provide something that is missing when reading historical surveys or translated annals. If you found this book interesting and are looking for more on Normans, I would recommend Richard and John: Kings at War, which is an excellent history that covers much of Norman Angevin England history from Henry II to the death of King John, and 1215: The Year of Magna Carta, which explains more about the Norman culture (mostly relating to Norman Angevin England).
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99d47cd8) out of 5 stars Best on Normans 5 Mar. 2008
By ViulfR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is perhaps the greatest and most comprehensive title on the Normans published to date. There are other titles that delve into greater nuances of Norman history. There are none that give the reader a more thorough overview, understanding, and comprehension of the Normans, their achievements and the world in which they lived.

What impressed me most is the collection of content from several earlier Osprey titles into a cohesive and expansive whole. With this title, Osprey has truly created a book worthy of being hardbound for libraries and collections. The inclusion of amazing illustrations by artists such as Angus McBride from the Warrior, Men-at-Arms, and Fortifications series gives the reader a unique and clear perspective this period of history and it's people.

If you're interested in medieval history, especially military history, this should be at the top of your list for reference material. A book you'll read cover to cover, and come back to time and again. If you're a living history participant, there is probably no better starting point for research.

If only all history books were this good!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By D. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book! Consider myself a decent History buff; learned quite alot from this book. More amazing, it remained interesting throughout. I recommend it if the Normans, or Middle Ages in general, interest you.
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