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The Normans in the South, 1016-1130

(The Normans in Sicily #1)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Tells the story of Robert Guiscard, perhaps the most extraordinary European adventurer between Caesar and Napoleon. This book also tells the story of his brother Roger, thanks to whom he conquered Sicily from the Saracens; and of Roger's descendants, notably his son Roger II.
ebook, 388 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Faber & Faber (first published January 1st 1967)
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Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1000-1300ca
The Normans in the South, 1016-1130
John Julius Norwich
Read it in Paper-Back at 355 including Biblio+Apendix+Maps

This is actually a re-issue/re-print of Norwich's original 'The Normans in Sicily: The Normans in the South 1016-1130 and the Kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194' now split into two, with this being the first. Mr. Norwich is many things but a historian, arguably not. A fan of history, it would seem so and in his writings I find all of the exuberance, interest, and understanding of any
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Short on analysis, JJN does what he does best - writing a meandering introduction to a little known subject.
Aug 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
A well researched look at the fascinating history of the "other" Norman conquest, from the initial influx of the Normans as mercenaries, through the rise of the de Hautvilles, to the eventual founding of the Kingdom of Sicily.

Some of the periods covered are not well documented in history, and certainly not very well known, and few of the primary or even secondary sources covering the period have never been translated into English. This work by the eminent historian John Julius Norwich is an
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable read in the style of history books as escapism, something that seems dulled with our contemporary academically grounded and erudite professional historians. This really was one of those books you looked forward to reading a few pages of each evening.

The author is self deprecating about being an enthusiast rather than an academic, so the story is a little uneven and the context is patchy. It can be a bit disorienting with knights rushing hither and thither to beat down the
Jeroen Van de Crommenacker
A really delightful history book, and the best of John Julius Norwich that I have read so far. It is a fairly obscure part of medieval European history, but immensely interesting and entertainingly told. Sometimes easy to get a bit lost in all the various characters, cities, battles and intrigues and it probably helps if you have some prior knowledge of the period. I was certainly hooked enough to decide to buy the second volume in this 2-volume series.
Very informative and detailed, but intensely boring and confusing. Depending on your level of interest in this topic you may or may not agree with me, but I can’t get behind this narrative style of one small point and minor figure listed one after another.
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Mia recensione:
Si narra di figli cadetti partiti all'avventura che hanno saputo costruire dal nulla un solido stato, partendo da piccole concessioni terriere fatte dal Papa di turno, fino ad assoggettare l'intera Italia del Sud ed arrivando a tenere sotto controllo una buona parte dell'Africa Settentrionale e a non far dormire sonni tranquilli nemmeno agli imperatori dei più importati regni del tempo: il Sacro Romano Impero e l'Impero Bizantino.
Figure di
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Norwich is the only child of the Conservative politician and diplomat Duff Cooper and of Lady Diana Cooper, a celebrated beauty and society figure. Through his father, he is descended from King William IV and his mistress Dorothea Jordan.

He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, Canada (as a wartime evacuee), at Eton College, and at the University of Strasbourg. He served in the Royal Navy

Other books in the series

The Normans in Sicily (3 books)
  • The Kingdom in the Sun, 1130 - 1194
  • The Normans in Sicily: The Normans in the South 1016-1130 and the Kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194