Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485” as Want to Read:
A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  107 Ratings  ·  16 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 November 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 276)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Semele
Jan 18, 2014 Semele rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
James Welfare
Mar 10, 2014 James Welfare rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical
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 Barton
Nov 02, 2011 Jo Barton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Barton
Oct 03, 2011 Jo Barton rated it it was amazing
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
Jim Dudley
Jun 02, 2014 Jim Dudley rated it liked it
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
Jul 10, 2014 Fiona Ottley rated it liked it
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.
Steve Markham
Jan 29, 2015 Steve Markham rated it really liked it
Easy to follow and educational as I didn't do much of this period in school but have always meant to read more about this time in our history. Split into easily digestible parts too for easy reading.
Matt
Apr 24, 2015 Matt rated it liked it
An interesting read, with a nice strong narrative throughout most of the book.
It felt a little like watching a movie of a book, in that the author tended to concentrate on the good bits, skipping over the duller parts of the period almost entirely, offering only a sentence or two to some monarchs or mentioning events only in passing to set up the next 'good bit'.
Katriona
Sep 29, 2014 Katriona rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It was a good introduction to medieval Britain. I particularly enjoyed the first half. However, I would've preferred if there had been more focus on the culture and society of medieval Britain, rather than most of it concentrating on the royal family. I also would've liked to have read more about the oft-neglected of Britain's countries: Scotland, Wales and Ireland, who only seemed to be mentioned in relation to England invading them. Parts of it felt rushed as well. But, overall, I enjoyed it.
Alinda Claire
Educative
James Weisbach
Dec 31, 2012 James Weisbach rated it it was ok
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!
Bry Willis
History is not really my bag, but I decided to give this book a gander anyway. It's not bad, though a bit dense but informative. I listened to the audiobook because I couldn't hear the paper version, though the paper edition may be a better format for this.
David Hurst
Apr 01, 2013 David Hurst rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
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.
James
Nov 03, 2015 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent history that briefly examines not just the political history, but the societal and cultural development of Britain from the arrival of William the Conqueror until the beginning of the Tudor era.
Tom
Jul 06, 2013 Tom rated it it was amazing
Full of fascinating detail based on excellent research...a bit choppy perhaps but still full of good insights and handy details.
Hàn Ny
Hàn Ny marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
Stephen`
Stephen` marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2016
Scott Kinley
Scott Kinley rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2016
Mr Jonny Bottomley
Mr Jonny Bottomley rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2016
Paul Mitchell
Paul Mitchell marked it as to-read
Mar 04, 2016
Mike
Mike is currently reading it
Mar 03, 2016
Andrea
Andrea marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2016
Ht
Ht added it
Feb 22, 2016
Grace
Grace marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2016
Jeremy
Jeremy added it
Feb 15, 2016
Anja
Anja rated it it was ok
Feb 15, 2016
Gabriela Galveia
Gabriela Galveia is currently reading it
Feb 14, 2016
Harlee Keinzley
Harlee Keinzley marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Brief History Of Britain 1485–1660, The Tudor and Stuart dynasties
  • A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons: The Beginnings of the English Nation
  • A Concise History of the Arabs
  • A Brief History of Life in the Middle Ages
  • A Brief History of Life in Victorian Britain
  • The Tudor Housewife
  • London: The Autobiography
  • The Chalet School and Jo (The Chalet School, #7)
  • Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer
  • The Tudor Age
  • Fire in the City: Savonarola and the Struggle for Renaissance Florence
  • The Last White Rose: Dynasty, Rebellion and Treason. The Secret Wars against the Tudors
  • The History of the Renaissance World: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople
  • The Northern Crusades
  • Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire
  • Seven Flowers: And How They Shaped Our World
  • Dunkirk - The Men They Left Behind
  • Become Who You Were Born to Be: We All Have a Gift. . . . Have You Discovered Yours?
218743
Professor Nicholas Vincent of the University of East Anglia has published a dozen books and some hundred articles on twelfth- and thirteenth-century history for both scholarly and popular audiences, including work on the English and European context of Magna Carta as well as Magna Carta: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2012). When a 1297 issue of Magna Carta recently came up for auction, Profes ...more
More about Nicholas Vincent...

Other Books in the Series

A Brief History of Britain (5 books)
  • A Brief History Of Britain 1485–1660, The Tudor and Stuart dynasties
  • A Brief History of Britain 1660-1851
  • A Brief History of Britain 1851-2010
  • A Brief History of Britain Box Set

Share This Book