The castle was an imposing architectural landmark in late medieval and early modern England and Wales. Castles were much more than lordly residences: they were accommodation to guests and servants, spaces of interaction between the powerful and the powerless, and part of larger networks of tenants, parks, and other properties. These structures were political, symbolic, residential, and military, and shaped the ways in which people consumed the landscape and interacted with the local communities around them.
This volume offers the first interdisciplinary study of the socio-cultural understanding of the castle in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, a period duringwhich the castle has largely been seen as in decline. Bringing together a wide range of source material - from architectural remains and archaeological finds to household records and political papers - it investigates the personnel of the castle; the use of space for politics and hospitality; the landscape; ideas of privacy; and the creation of a visual legacy. By focusing on such an iconic structure, the book allows us to see some of the ways in which men and women were negotiating the space around them on a daily basis; and just as importantly, it reveals the impact that the local communities had on the spaces of the castle.
AUDREY M. THORSTAD teaches in the Department of History, University of North Texas.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 648 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 22 mm
A very readable and solid introduction to the non-royal great houses in England...is essential reading for anyone coming to this subject for the first time. * ARCHAEOLOGIA CAMBRENSIS *
Commendably detailed, thorough and fluent. * INNES REVIEW *
In bringing a methodologically diverse approach to a subject that crosses interdisciplinary boundaries, particularly history and archaeology, Thorstad's work will be of interest to those working in these fields, and she is surely right to argue that "Castles . . . cannot be interpreted in isolation from the people who occupied them" (210). This fresh approach is very welcome. -- James Ross * Journal of British Studies *