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The Normans: From Raiders to Kings av Lars…
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The Normans: From Raiders to Kings (utgåvan 2014)

av Lars Brownworth

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
17377116,670 (4)21
There is much more to the Norman story than the Battle of Hastings. These descendants of the Vikings who settled in France, England, and Italy-but were not strictly French, English, or Italian-played a large role in creating the modern world. They were the success story of the Middle Ages: a footloose band of individual adventurers who transformed the face of medieval Europe. During the course of two centuries, they launched a series of extraordinary conquests, carving out kingdoms from the North Sea to the North African coast.In The Normans, Lars Brownworth follows their story, from the first shock of a Viking raid on an Irish monastery to the exile of the last Norman Prince of Antioch. In the process, he brings to vivid life the Norman tapestry's rich cast of characters: figures like Rollo the Walker, William Iron-Arm, Tancred the Monkey King, and Robert Guiscard. The Normans presents a fascinating glimpse of a time when a group of restless adventurers had the world at their fingertips.… (mer)
Medlem:toonarmycaptain
Titel:The Normans: From Raiders to Kings
Författare:Lars Brownworth
Info:Crux Publishing (2014), Kindle Edition, 210 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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The Normans: From Raiders to Kings av Lars Brownworth

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engelska (76)  norska (2)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (79)
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I very informative and enjoyable read. I received a digital copy so it took me much longer to read it but it was worth it. This is one of my favorite historical subjects so I was happy to see a book on the topic that was readable for a broader audience. I would recommend this book. ( )
  goth_marionette | Jun 3, 2018 |
I was pleased to read this advance (in ebook form) copy of The Normans: from raiders to kings by Lars Brownworth; published by Crux Publishing Ltd. in the UK. Not being familiar with Mr. Brownworth, I did a bit of preliminary research on the author before I started.
Mr. Brownworth is an author, speaker, historian and teacher. He has written 3 books, Lost to the West: the forgotten Byzantine Empire that rescued western civilization; 12 Byzantine Rulers: the history of the Byzantine Empire; and The Normans: from raiders to kings. A new book, The sea wolves: a history of the Vikings is due in the fall of 2014.
He attracted attention for his book, 12 Byzantine Rulers, and a subsequent podcast of the material. I listened to several episodes of the podcast (which is free in ITunes) and became very interested in the material and Mr. Brownworth's presentation of the material. I noticed that Mr. Brownworth had a podcast of The Normans, and I began listening before I started to read the book. It is very easy to follow along with the podcast - Mr. Brownworth's delivery and mastery of the material created a very interesting and enjoyable history lesson. I greatly recommend the podcast: if you like audio; if you are interested in a concise summary only and if you don't mind the absence of visuals and access points.
I like and recommend visuals and access points. There is nothing like a good map or footnote to get me excited and I began (as I always do) with the cover. The cover is a portrait/model of a Norman knight slightly in the background of the Bayeux Tapestry (a tapestry from the 11th century which depicts events leading up to the Norman Conquest in 1066). This is fabulous cover art and the picture, with its mellow color tones, welcomed me into the book. (I am a big believer in 'cover art' and think an illustration can create interest in a particular title.)
The book contains many excellent access points, also, that guide the reader throughout his/her reading. These include maps; lists of personages, places and terms; a prologue and epilogue; a brief explanation of the Papal States and Romans, Holy Romans and Byzantines; a list of various dynasties and emperors; a family tree of the House of Hauteville; a table of contents and general introduction. Detailed footnotes and a bibliography of primary sources and more modern works follow the text. I would have used an index, but an index was not included. I think the very detailed information and the many people and places to keep track of warranted an index.
The writing style is very conversational and is easy to follow. Any information that requires added explanation is footnoted. I felt as though the author was speaking directly to me and offering me very personal information about these people, places and events.
Though I am no expert on Norman source material, the bibliography seemed very extensive and I did look at several of the sources online.
The Normans is a book full of fascinating details. I began taking notes instantly in the hope of keeping all the names and places straight in my mind and soon had a small notebook full of notes and questions. Some details that I found particularly interesting include:
1. Who exactly were the Normans? They were not strictly French and their most famous king ruled in England. They began as marauding Viking groups. (see the introduction)
2. I like reading about 'Ah-Ha' moments that changed history. The Vikings were innovative shipbuilders and developed a boat that eliminated the need for a keel. Viking ships could sail up even the shallowest rivers and this allowed them to be particularly lethal. (see the prologue)
3. The adaptability of the Normans. This trait was mentioned several times in several chapters and led to their success. (see the introduction)
4. Greek fire - an oil-based substance funneled through pipes under water to burn ships (see chapter 9)
5. Several times I had to stop reading because I couldn't stand any of these people anymore - Normans, Italians, Muslims, French, Germans, the Popes, etc. The horrible brutality and viciousness of their feuds, wars, and conquests, plus their total disregard for human life made me dizzy at times. The breaking of oaths, agreements and treaties was also hard to comprehend (and keep track of). It often makes for disturbing reading.
6. There were very interesting subplots to the Crusades. (ex. Bohemond I in chapter 10)
7. There were only 2 women listed in the Who's Who of the Norman World - Adelaide (c.1075-1118) and Emma (c.985-1012). I want to read more about them.
8. I often read The Normans with other reference books at hand which were helpful in their visuals. For example, I am interested in weaving and embroidery and tapestry and seeing various panels of the Bayeux Tapestry was thrilling; or reading about the early Anglo-Saxons and then seeing a picture of a still-standing church or tomb is very helpful in breathing life into such 'long-ago' history. Visuals/Illustrations compliment a text and would have been a welcome addition here.
9. Norman achievements were astounding, however brief. They were powerful for only a few centuries, but that power effected a shift. Norman energy transformed Europe.
10. Lars Brownworth has a blog - Finding History, where he answers questions (ex. What happened to Tancred's other sons?)
11. Lars Brownworth's podcasts and podcast websites are very rich in information and are easily accessible.
Would I recommend this book to anyone? Absolutely! History is about people and Mr. Brownworth helps these people come alive with his research and writing. In knowing about and understanding them, I think we understand a bit more about ourselves. This is a must-read for any history enthusiast. ( )
  diana.hauser | Mar 14, 2016 |
An interesting history of the Normans and their roles in France, England, Germany, Italy, Sicily and the Crusades. ( )
  vanjr | Oct 4, 2015 |
Brownworth präsentiert in Anekdoten und tragikomischen Begebnissen das Leben und Sterben von Normannen, die durchaus so ungewöhnlich waren wie ihre Namen: Rollo the Walker, William Iron-Arm, Tancred the Monkey King, und Robert Guiscard.

http://www.weberseite.at/buecher/the-normans-from-raiders-to-kings/ ( )
  cwebb | Feb 9, 2015 |
This book sets out to answer the question of how Western Europe, which was developmentally behind the Middle East, rose to dominance over only 2 centuries. It seems that it was due to only a few generations of Normans who quickly transformed themselves from raiders to rulers. Mostly, each chapter follows one colorful character and traces the line of descent. The Normans descended from a Viking named Rollo who occupied northern France. Around 1060, the Hauteville family began to spread from northern France to Italy and beyond to the Crusades. Generations later, the Normans ruled parts of Italy but fought among themselves and succumbed to decadence and lack of heirs.

This a fascinating book, far too complicated and detailed to digest in one reading. I will definitely return to it as I read other books about medieval Europe to refresh my memory about the big picture of the Normans. Useful maps and family trees, too.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. ( )
  dolphari | Jan 1, 2015 |
Visa 1-5 av 79 (nästa | visa alla)
I just finished reading The Normans: From Raiders to Kings and I truly enjoyed this book.People probably have very limited knowwledge of who the Normans were, their knowledge not going beyond perhaps and old Robin Hood movie or mention on the History Channel.
Lars Brownworth‘s book gives a lot of information, and provides a detailed history of the Normans were in a very easy read .
Most of the book deals with the Hauteville family. This one family, descended from Vikings: conquered Sicily and Southern Italy; was a huge factor in Europe, Asia and Africa; and participated in the Norman conquest of England. You get chapters on each of the major family members, covering the high points of their lives in thorough detail. The Normans conveys a lot of information but it feels like it is telling you a grab you by the belt adventure. Too many times a history books is dry and boring. This one feels however is very vibrant and exciting. It is an informative, excellent read and I recommend checking it out.
tillagd av Elliot1822 | ändraMe, myself and I, Elliot Halberg (Mar 11, 2014)
 
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For Nils, whose curiosity provided the spark
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When the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century, it left a political vacuum on the Italian peninsula.
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At the time of the First Crusade, when Christendom was internally divided and at war with Islam, Roger de Hauteville protected the Sicilian Kingdom with an army composed of Saracen infantry, Greek generals and Norman cavalry.
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There is much more to the Norman story than the Battle of Hastings. These descendants of the Vikings who settled in France, England, and Italy-but were not strictly French, English, or Italian-played a large role in creating the modern world. They were the success story of the Middle Ages: a footloose band of individual adventurers who transformed the face of medieval Europe. During the course of two centuries, they launched a series of extraordinary conquests, carving out kingdoms from the North Sea to the North African coast.In The Normans, Lars Brownworth follows their story, from the first shock of a Viking raid on an Irish monastery to the exile of the last Norman Prince of Antioch. In the process, he brings to vivid life the Norman tapestry's rich cast of characters: figures like Rollo the Walker, William Iron-Arm, Tancred the Monkey King, and Robert Guiscard. The Normans presents a fascinating glimpse of a time when a group of restless adventurers had the world at their fingertips.

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