By Marc Morris
"Castle" is a wide-ranging historical past of a few of the main wonderful structures in Britain. It explores some of the country's most renowned and best-loved castles, in addition to a few little-known nationwide treasures. the tale starts off within the eleventh century, whilst castles have been brought to Britain, and leads to the seventeenth century, once they have been principally deserted. it truly is, in a few respects, an epic story, pushed by means of characters like William the Conqueror, "Bad" King John and Edward I, who, by way of construction and besieging castles, formed the destiny of the state. whilst, besides the fact that, it's a extra homely tale, in regards to the adventures, struggles and objectives of lesser-known contributors, and the way each element in their lives was once wrapped up within the castles they equipped. As Marc Morris indicates, there's extra to castles than drawbridges and battlements, portcullises and arrow-loops. Be it ever so grand or ever so humble, a fortress is at the start a house. it will probably glance difficult and defensible at the open air, yet at the inside of, a citadel is all approximately luxurious and creature comforts. inside of actual castles, we do no inevitably locate cannons and fits of armour, yet we do detect nice halls, large kitchens, inner most chambers and chapels - all rooms which have been as soon as sumptuous and extravagant, and which made those structures excellent flats for his or her proprietors. to appreciate castles - who equipped them, who lived in them, and why - is to appreciate the forces that formed medieval Britain.
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Extra resources for Castle: A History of the Buildings that Shaped Medieval Britain
One older gentleman complained of being massaged in ragtime at his Turkish bath. Another said that he was sure his typists now clattered away to the same rhythm. But the city could still put on more stately airs, turning itself to the formality of a great occasion. Coming hot on the heels of King George’s trip to Berlin, London prepared itself for a state visit from the leader of Britain’s oldest enemy, now become its closest friend: President Raymond Poincaré of France. It was a remarkable turn of events for two countries more practised in denigrating each other’s achievements than in celebrating them, more used to killing than embracing each other.
The tide reversed, and the City’s workers were gradually expelled: The phenomenon may be seen on every day from year’s end to year’s end. At certain points where the mass of humanity is more than usually congested . . the spectacle is really startling, alike in the magnitude of the aggregate, and in the hurried, serious, preoccupied aspect of the human units who compose it. ’ For the City clerk, poised between working-class poverty and middle-class respectability, the City’s square mile contained within it the totality of professional aspirations, hopes of advancement and fears of slipping into London’s poorer underworld.
But the city could still put on more stately airs, turning itself to the formality of a great occasion. Coming hot on the heels of King George’s trip to Berlin, London prepared itself for a state visit from the leader of Britain’s oldest enemy, now become its closest friend: President Raymond Poincaré of France. It was a remarkable turn of events for two countries more practised in denigrating each other’s achievements than in celebrating them, more used to killing than embracing each other. English kings had contested the crown of France for centuries.
Castle: A History of the Buildings that Shaped Medieval Britain by Marc Morris