THE NORMANS by Timothy Baker


Email this review


Timothy Baker's book on 1066 actually extends far beyond that date in either direction. He gives information on pre-Conquest England and Normandy, most importantly insights into the pre-Conquest balance of power. His book runs from the Normans in France through the Norman kingships in England; the Battle of Hastings is merely a consequential act in his story. He writes of England at the time of Edward's accession, during his reign, during that of Harold (when the critical moment occurred), through the rule of William and the three successive Norman kings. There was England's subjection, the rise of feudal England and social changes. William made skillful use of English institutions; there was little change in the law. But there were church reforms beyond the injection of new personnel; there was the submergence of the developed English vernacular for rudimentary French, the overlaying of an undeveloped architecture and a tradition of brilliant sculpture. Mr. Baker concludes that the consequences of the Norman conquest were less spectacular than the performance. A good subsidiary book without the popular appeal of Lloyd's The Making of the King (p. 282) or the thoroughgoing scholarship of The Making of the King Whitelock et al.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1966
Page count: 874pp
Publisher: Macmillan