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About the book
  • Published: 15 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099558491
  • Imprint: Windmill Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

Castle

A History of the Buildings that Shaped Medieval Britain




From the acclaimed author of A Great and Terrible King and The Norman Conquest, a seminal book on the history of Britain's castles

Castle is a wide-ranging history of some of the most magnificent buildings in Britain. It explores many of the country's most famous and best-loved castles, as well as some little-known national treasures. The story begins in the 11th century, when castles were introduced to Britain, and ends in the 17th century, when they were largely abandoned. It is, in some respects, an epic tale, driven by characters like William the Conqueror, "Bad" King John and Edward I, who, by building and besieging castles, shaped the fate of the nation. At the same time, however, it is a more homely story, about the adventures, struggles and ambitions of lesser-known individuals, and how every aspect of their lives was wrapped up in the castles they built. As Marc Morris shows, there is more to castles than drawbridges and battlements, portcullises and arrow-loops.

Be it ever so grand or ever so humble, a castle is first and foremost a home. It may look tough and defensible on the outside, but on the inside, a castle is all about luxury and creature comforts. Inside real castles, we do no necessarily find cannons and suits of armour, but we do discover great halls, huge kitchens, private chambers and chapels - all rooms which were once luxurious and lavish, and which made these buildings perfect residences for their owners.

To understand castles - who built them, who lived in them, and why - is to understand the forces that shaped medieval Britain.

  • Pub date: 15 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099558491
  • Imprint: Windmill Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Marc Morris

Dr Marc Morris is an historian and broadcaster, specialising in the Middle Ages. Following the success of his bestselling biography of Edward I, A Great and Terrible King (Hutchinson, 2008), he has recently completed a major new book, The Norman Conquest (Hutchinson, 2012). A definitive new account of King John will be published in 2015, the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

In 2003 Marc presented the highly acclaimed six-part series Castle for Channel 4 and wrote its accompanying book (now published in paperback by Windmill). He has also contributed to history programmes such as Time Team, as well as other shows on both television and radio.

An expert on medieval monarchy and aristocracy, Marc has written numerous articles for History Today, BBC History Magazine and Heritage Today. In a recent academic paper he proposed a new date for the construction of King Arthur’s Round Table at Winchester.

Marc speaks regularly to schools, historical societies and literary festivals, and also leads specialist tours of UK castles. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
For more information, visit www.marcmorris.org.uk.

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Praise for Castle

“Captivating and entertaining... More than just a study of architecture, weaponry and personalities, Castle pieces together a comprehensive overview that gives a fresh take on medieval and early modern Britain and the forces that shaped it. Whether ruined or intact, castles still have the power to fire the imagination, and Marc Morris leave you in no doubt why.”

BBC History Magazine


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