From the Norman Conquest to the Battle of Bosworth Field - how Britain was invaded and became a nation. The first volume in the stunning four-volume Brief History of Britain series. From the Battle of Hastings to the Battle of Bosworth Field, Nicholas Vincent tells the story of how Britain was born. When William, Duke of Normandy, killed King Harold and seized the throne of England, England’s language, culture, politics, and law were transformed.
Over the next 400 years, under royal dynasties that looked principally to France for inspiration and ideas, an English identity was born, based in part upon struggle for control over the other parts of the British Isles (Scotland, Wales, and Ireland), in part upon rivalry with the kings of France. From these struggles emerged English law and an English Parliament, the English language, English humour, and England’s first overseas empires. In this thrilling and accessible account, Nicholas Vincent not only tells the story of the rise and fall of dynasties, but investigates the lives and obsessions of a host of lesser men and women, from archbishops to peasants, and from soldiers to scholars, upon whose enterprise the social and intellectual foundations of Englishness now rest.
This the first book in the four-volume Brief History of Britain which brings together some of the leading historians to tell our nation’s story from the Norman Conquest of 1066 to the present day. Combining the latest research with accessible and entertaining storytelling, it is the ideal introduction for students and general readers.
Nicholas Vincent has published half a dozen books and some fifty academic articles on various aspects of English and European history in the 12th and 13th centuries. He has studied at Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, and Canterbury and now is professor at the University of East Anglia.
©2012 Nicholas Vincent (P)2012 Audible Ltd
"fabric artist and quilter"
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that there is little depth in this book as it is called A Brief History of Britain but I was disappointed at how little depth there was.
I find the conquest and then subjugation of the Britons and Anglo Saxons by the Normans fascinating - the way british collective personality seemed to develop at this time, the tenacity of the english language and the development of democratic government is so interesting but its not discussed in much depth which was frustrating.
The Wars of the Roses was dealt with very curtly and again this was disappointing.
I recommend this book as a primer - theres so much more to discover if you scratch the surface - this book really doesn't scratch very deeply at all.
Audio Addict! Usually listening to History these days. Love Will Durant most of all authors!
I'm not from England, but for some reason I'm obsessed with English history. Despite all the books I've read on the subject, there were definitely a few issues that left me confused. This series of books has a different author for each, who specialize in that particular time frame, with the same fantastic narrator.
This book starts with William the Conqueror and the Norman invasion at the Battle of Hastings; it ends with Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field, where the sketchy Richard III is killed, thus ending the War of the Roses.
Incredibly well-written and well-read! It is a great story and is never dry or boring. If anything, this made me want to read more English history...
Speaking of, I'm starting part two already... It begins with the Tudors and encompasses the religious and political issues of a newer, more modern England.
My highest recommendation for this book and the whole series.
The writing itself assumes you have already got quite a bit of prior knowledge of British history of the period, and of what's coming next, and it's often matter-of-fact tone doesn't help distinguish the important parts from the asides. Found myself having to research quite a bit on Wikipedia around the subjects. Good narrator however.
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