Exploring the successful Norman invasion of England in 1066, this concise and readable book focuses especially on the often dramatic and enduring changes wrought by William the Conqueror and his followers. From the perspective of a modern social historian, Hugh M. Thomas considers the conquest's wide-ranging impact by taking a fresh look at such traditional themes as the influence of battles and great men on history and by assessing how far the shift in ruling dynasty and noble elites affected broader aspects of English history. The results, Thomas convincingly shows, are both complex and surprising. In some areas where one might expect profound influence, such as government institutions, there was little change. In other respects, such as the indirect transformation of the English language, the conquest had profound and lasting effects that transformed society as a whole. With its combination of exciting narrative and clear analysis, this book will capture student interest in a range of courses on Medieval and Western history.
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Hugh M. Thomas is professor of history at the University of Miami.Review:
[This book] sets out with the intention of being an accessible and comprehensive textbook guide to the history of England between 1066 and 1100 and succeeds admirably in being both. . . . The concision and comprehensibility that Professor Thomas achieves . . . is a high recommendation for the book. . . . A valuable addition to the armory of the teacher of the history of Anglo-Norman England. (H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online)
The Norman Conquest is an up-to-date summary and interpretation of the most recent scholarship on the events leading to the invasion of England in 1066 and on the conquest's long aftermath. The author is to be commended for bringing ordinary English people into the discussion, thereby adding substantially to our understanding of this pivotal period. (William C. Jordan, Princeton University)
This lively, engaging, and accessible book will be an ideal introduction for students and general readers to the consequences of the Norman Conquest upon England. (Robert C. Stacey, University of Washington)
Why the Normans succeeded in invading England is still hotly debated. With clarity and concern, Hugh Thomas steers today's students through the labyrinth of facts and the numerous differences of opinion among experts, which make this such a rewarding subject for teaching. (M. T. Clanchy, University of London)
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