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The Image of Aristocracy Paperback – 24 Apr 2014

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best thing I've seen on this period 6 Aug. 2005
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
David Crouch, an Anglican priest and professor of medieval history at the University of Hull, is one of the most influential scholars working these days in the area of Anglo-Norman studies, and this widely-cited volume brings together most of his ideas and observations on the origins of feudalism and the nobility in Britain -- although he prefers "aristocracy" to "nobility" and explains why in convincing detail. He also has some cogent things to say on the present state of research and those doing it, and on the useful place of genealogy in pursuing it. The "prehistory" of the English peerage, he says, goes back to the Welsh princes, though the concept of "knight" is definitely Norman; the blending of the two streams of sociopolitical development led to a unique system in Britain. The later chapters on the insignia of rank -- banner, coronet, etc -- in defining the aristocrat, and the role of the castle (beyond its military purpose) and the manor in enforcing that status also are excellent. The twenty-page bibliography should be taken as a guide to further reading.
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