A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485
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A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485 (A Brief History of Britain #1)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  10 reviews
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 four hundred years, under royal dynasties that looked principally to France for inspiration an...more
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published June 17th 2011 by Robinson (first published January 1st 2010)
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James Welfare
Interesting subject matter but the continual use of analogy and reference to 20th century events as being somehow the same as those of the middle ages detracted from the flow. Initially this style choice added odd moments of interest and motivated me to consider potential parallels but as the book progressed and the chapters turned out to be thickly plastered they became at first laboured, then grinding and by the final chapters I was thoroughly sick of them. Add to this the tendency of the auth...more
Jo at Jaffareadstoo
This is the first of four historical volumes covering the years between 1066 and 2010. In this volume the author, Nicholas Vincent has written a concise and extremely well thought out history book which covers the years between the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.
As the historical content is so rich and varied, it never feels like you are reading a stuffy textbook. Each chapter is meticulously researched, and details the social and economic changes in an eas...more
Jo at Jaffareadstoo
This is the first of four historical volumes covering the years between 1066 and 2010. In this volume the author, Nicholas Vincent has written a concise and extremely well thought out history book which covers the years between the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.
As the historical content is so rich and varied, it never feels like you are reading a stuffy textbook. Each chapter is meticulously researched, and details the social and economic changes in an eas...more
Semele
A decent, concise overview of medieval England. However, the Author's insistence on drawing more parallels than it is reasonable was, least to say, counterproductive. Appealing as it may be to draw superficial comparisons between kings two hundred years apart, it tells me more about the Author's aesthetic preferences than about said kings.

Another think that irked me was the Author's insistence on using "it is proven that this or that king had heterosexual relationships" as an argument that vario...more
Jim Dudley
Extremely fascinating subject matter by an author who is clearly very knowledgable about the era. I found it a little difficult to get through at times, reading purely from a desire to get through the chapter than for pleasure, and yet at other times a fascinating read, generally whenever there was a key character as the subject matter. All in all, I'm not going to purchase the next in the series but I'm glad I've read this one and am feeling all the more knowledgable for having persevered.
Fiona Ottley
There was lots to learn in here for me. The writing style was very difficult however, as he kept referring back to stuff he had already discussed, causing me mass confusion. Since all pommie kings share just a few names, keeping all those Henrys, Edwards & Richards straight is hard enough without discussing several Henrys at once.
James Weisbach
The history of this period is fascinating, and this book appears to be well-researched, but Vincent is in need of a decent editor. His issue is that it reads like a first draft, full of awkward sentences, poorly-structured paragraphs and overuse of specific cultural references (including a bizarre axe to grind about Tolkien). A good editor would have fixed these problems and made it a four-star book, but unfortunately, this made it to the presses.
Wendy
Apr 29, 2013 Wendy added it
Fascinating read, but surprisingly let down by some poor editing in places. I also came to the conclusion that Mr Vincent must be a graduate of the Marcel Proust school of sentence structure - at times his sentences are more like long-winded paragraphs in sore need of punctuation! That aside, this is a brilliant history of Britain from the Norman Conquest through to the end of Plantagenet rule; I have no quibble with the subject matter at all!
David Hurst
Useful book on the history of the Middle Ages. The book focuses on the general atmosphere in royal and aristocratic circles, rather than descriptions of battles and family trees. There is very little on the lives of ordinary people.
Tom
Full of fascinating detail based on excellent research...a bit choppy perhaps but still full of good insights and handy details.
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