William the Conqueror Paperback – 1 Jan 2004
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"No one is better qualified...to interpret King William's character"
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
I will not pretend to have read ALL of the biographies on William the Conqueror (there are a host of them) but these two are the best that I have come across to date. There are several reasons for preferring David Bates' version. It is more recent. It is targeted at the general reader, as opposed to being mainly a piece of scholarship as David Douglas' version and it is therefore shorter (275 pages versus 375 pages, not counting the annexes). On the other hand, UK reviewers complained that it is "not as meaty and detailed as the David Douglas biography". I guess you cannot have it both ways: scholarly, very detailed and comprehensive and entertaining.
There are also similarities and differences regarding the contents because the each book has a different slant. David Douglas, as the subtitle of his book makes clear, concentrated on the "Norman Impact on England". David Bates, however, is more "a book about a man" who became Duke of Normandy, Count of Maine and then King of England. The contrast should not be pushed too far: both books address what happened before, during and after the Conquest. In addition, David Bates portray of William's personality owes a lot to David Douglas, a debt that he willingly acknowledges.Read more ›
This is not, primarily, a military history. Indeed, Bates devotes very little time to the Norman Conquest itself, preferring to place William in a wider context, both during his time as Duke of Normandy prior to 1066, and as King and Duke afterwards. There is an interesting, although a little tentative, discussion as to the validity of the Conqueror's claim to the throne. However, the scholarship is very good across the book. Bates manages largely to avoid the pitfall that many medieval historians fall into; judging his subject by modern standards. Whilst conceding the brutality of aspects of his character, Bates neither condones nor condemns it, merely explaining that it happened.
This is a good starting point for anyone interested in the period. As I have written above, it is not at all a military history; for those wishing to read an in depth analysis of Hastings or other battles in his career, you will need to go elsewhere.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book (although I can tentatively claim descent from the allies of the Conqueror!) and would recommend it to anyone wishing to get started in learning about the period.
The author's style is acceptable and competent. This is a good book for those who do not know anything about William The Conqueror.
Indeed for them it could be an absorbing story. But for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent historical biography! Am half way through it and am very happy with the work.Published 2 months ago by Christi L. Broersma
A very informative and scholarly book. For anyone interested in this period I would thoroughly recommend it.Published 15 months ago by Ecobeech
easy to read, wide ranging, has the benefit of much scholarship, i loved itPublished 21 months ago by R. E. Mitchell
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > British Royalty
- Books > Biography > Historical > Britain > Military
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Europe
- Books > Biography > Historical > Royalty
- Books > Biography > Political > Britain
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > Anglo-Saxon 500-1000
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > Black Death
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > British Heads of State
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > Ireland
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > Norman and Medieval 1001-1500
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > Wars of the Roses
- Books > History > Europe > Vikings, Dark Ages, Medieval Europe 501-1500
- Books > History > World History > 501-1500