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The Medieval March of Wales: The Creation And Perception Of A Frontier, 1066–1283 (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series) Paperback – 23 Jan 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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  • The Medieval March of Wales: The Creation And Perception Of A Frontier, 1066–1283 (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series)
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  • The Age of Conquest: Wales 1063-1415 (Oxford History of Wales, 2): Age of Conquest - Wales, 1063-1415 Vol 2
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Product details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (23 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107650046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107650046
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"...a positive contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the Welsh Marches, and will spur further debate on medieval concepts of the frontier." -Peter L. Larson, Canadian Journal of History

Book Description

Examining the making of the medieval borderland, the March of Wales, and the crucial role its lords played in the politics of medieval Britain between the Norman conquest of England of 1066 and the English conquest of Wales in 1283, this book makes a significant contribution to frontier studies.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A most interesting and perceptive study of the origins of the March of Wales, packed with information and detail about the border in the medieval period.
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Format: Paperback
I think the write up on the back of the book clearly implies that a certain level of understanding or background knowledge would be advantageous to the reader. Its not dust and dry by any measure but i cannot imagine it being particularly interesting or easy going for a reader with little or no knowledge of the Powysian/Salopian border in this period. The book does offer a valuable insight into the 'Marchia Wallie' and how its development in Western Shropshire appears to have been rolled out, so to speak, across other border shires and conquered cantrefs. The development of a border aristocracy is stimulating and thought provoking in that it makes a clear distinction between the power and role of the elite families on the border before and after the fall of the Earl of Shrewsbury in 1102. All in all its a good read but the subject matter does make it less a page turner than most would hope for.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a rather heavy academic read, with most of its 30 maps making little sense due to their small size, black and white printing, and poor labelling. Max Lieberman is described as a post-doctoral researcher and unfortunately the book gives the impression of having been written from that perspective, rather than one of informing and engaging its readership. Far too frequently, for my taste, the book also becomes self-referential - proposals and conjecture in its early chapters appear to have morphed into unassailable facts by the time we reach the end pages. The so-called "selected bibliography" stretches to more than 20 pages of works by a huge number of writers (not all of whom shared necessarily the same conclusions). To some extent we should probably be grateful to Max Lieberman for attempting to navigate a single line path through the moving tapestry that was the medieval March of Wales. But there is a huge abyss in this work: the commoners. While overlordship was an undeniable feature of post-Norman medieval society in England, it was not reckoned the same under Welsh law. Land tenure and rights of freedom were part of the struggle between the different cultures, so it is disconcerting to see this topic not proportionately raised. Max has also made no significant exploration here of the geographical features, such as hills and forest, which might have contributed to the region's fortunes and frontier's demarcation. This book could provide some useful grist to those who already have a strong familiarity with its subject, but I'd look elsewhere for an introductory view. Physically, it also seems that the book was one of those print-on-demand jobs, so its cover is very thin and the laminate started to peel almost immediately I started to read.
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