THE OTHER CONQUEST by John Julius Norwich
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The ""other conquest"" is the twelfth-century Norman invasion of Southern Italy and Sicily. This gracefully written book is the first of two volumes which will together, for the first time in English, offer the general reader the complete history of Norman Sicily--""from the first day, in 1016, when a party of Norman pilgrims was accosted in the shrine of the Archangel Michael on Monte Gargano, to the last, a hundred and seventy-eight years later, when the brightest crown of the Mediterranean passed to one of the blackest of the German Emperors."" The present volume covers the first hundred and fourteen of those years and is a history of struggles, intrigues, sieges, and insurrections, dominated by the sons and grandsons of Tancred de Hauteville and, above all, by the ""gigantic blond buccaneer,"" Robert Guiscard, one of the most incredible men of the Middle Ages. The Other Conquest is an excellent book distinguished by its Horatian ability to delight as well as teach. Lord Norwich does not pretend to have unearthed any new material or to have put forward any startlingly original conclusions, but he has succeeded admirably in explaining ""how the Normans got to Sicily in the first place, what sort of country they made of it, and how they managed to imbue it with a culture at once so beautiful and so unique."" One anticipates the volume to come.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Harper & Row