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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2017
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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on 22 August 2016
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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on 23 March 2017
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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on 31 July 2017
Very good book
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on 3 March 2017
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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on 25 October 2013
Academically solid but Marc is not afraid to voice his opinion and interpretations. I really enjoyed reading it - refreshing!
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on 14 September 2013
Light of touch, well paced yet the scholarship that's gone into the work is obvious.

If you think you know enough already about the Conquest there is still much to enjoy;if you don't then there is no better place to start.
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on 14 October 2012
From the chaos caused by Viking invasions, family point-scorings, marriages of convenience, double-dealing and general skullduggery of the times, Marc Morris has clarified it and written a history book which reads like a novel without being in the least condescending or patronising.
I enjoy his books enormously.
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VINE VOICEon 29 March 2014
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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on 8 November 2013
This is an excellently written book. I had little interest in this period and only bought this book because it had many strong recommendations. It turn out to be a great buy.

Unlike many history books I have read of recent years this is easy to read and in plain English. Many books I have read recently are sometimes difficult to read and understand, and it appears the authors are trying to show just how clever they are. This book is different it is easy to read and understand, no need to re-read sections to appreciate what is being written. However don't mistake easy to read with simplistic, this is an excellent account of this period in European history, and you will finish reading it with a good understanding of the conquest and it's background.

On the strength of this book I bought two other books by this same author:
 A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain
 Castle: A History of the Buildings that Shaped Medieval Britain
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