The World Before Domesday: The English Aristocracy 871-1066 (Hardback)
  • The World Before Domesday: The English Aristocracy 871-1066 (Hardback)
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The World Before Domesday: The English Aristocracy 871-1066 (Hardback)

(author)
£110.00
Hardback 258 Pages / Published: 25/10/2008
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Ann Williams' important new book discusses the dynamics of English aristocratic society in a way that has not been explored before. She investigates the rewards and obligations of status including birth, wealth, the importance of public and royal service and the need to participate in local affairs, especially legal and administrative business. This period saw the birth of a 'lesser aristocracy', the ancestors of the English gentry, the power-house of society and politics in the late medieval and early modern periods. Going on to examine the obligations and rewards of lordship and the relations between lords and their men, Williams illustrates how status was displayed and covers the importance of the manorial house, which was at once a home, an estate centre and a symbol of authority and the insignia of rank in weaponry, clothing and personal adornment. The growing gap between the highest rank of society and the lowest, fuelled by underlying economic developments is also covered. In conclusion she considers some of the occupations which symbolized and perpetuated lordly power. Though the upper levels of aristocratic society were swept away by the Norman settlement, the 'lesser aristocracy' had a much higher rate of survival and it was this group who began the manorialization of English society, familiar from the late medieval period.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781847252395
Number of pages: 258
Weight: 540 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Review in Perspectivia (In French)
'While many historians have written about the politics and communities of late Anglo-Saxon England, few are able to breathe life into them with such a sense of easy familiarity.' - History Today
'A stimulating, careful, and enjoyable study of its subject; illuminated by well-chosen anecdotes and the archaeological record; and well-rooted in the sources and historiography. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy or, indeed, that which replaced it after 1066.' - Reviews in History
Providing a wealth of detail based on the author's keen understanding of the sources and the period, the book is readable, lucid and scholarly.' - Northern History
'Using primary sources as much as possible, including data from archaeological sites and numismatics, she describes the strata of aristocracy ... The final chapter, on the "aristocratic pursuits" of hunting, hawking and feasting, is full of fascinating detail. The focus of the work is on aristocratic laymen, and it succeeds in bringing them to life ...Williams has done an excellent job.' - Book News

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