Cover Image: The Castle

The Castle

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Member Reviews

A really enjoyable bite-size tour of the history of the castle, set against the wider narrative of English history.  This is an informative but accessible account of the development, design and purpose of castles but also those who occupied or besieged them and, sometimes, the interesting domestic accounts or stories of those living and working there.  Accompanied by colour images, it’s an easy read, recommended for all.  The journey takes the reader from pre-conquest right up to the present day. It was particularly interesting to see the role castles have played during conflict and ceremony.
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A detailed account of the history of castles in England. The book follows through the chronology of castles from Normans to modern day. As a history teacher I absolutely loved this book and learnt some new facts along the way. The book provides a great glossary related to castles which can help readers who are not familiar with key terms. Each chapter is a few pages long about different castles in England. The chapter provides specific evidence relating to the timeframe in which the castle was built and or changed. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to learn about castles, even if you're not an expert as the book provides an intelligent account, whilst not shying away from specific evidence. It is definitely an accessible read.
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Impossible to read here as only accessible via the Netgalley Shelf App which impossible to use. Netgalley users should be warned in advance if a title can only be accessed in this way.
My rating here does not reflect on the quality of the book itself, only on the quality of my reading experience using the Netgalley shelf app.
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Detailed and insighted history of the castle from its Norman origins through to the modern day as the role of castle changes over time
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This is not the book I was expecting it to be! That's largely because of this line in the blurb: 

"John Goodall weaves together the history of the British castle across the span of a millennium, from the eleventh to the twenty-first century, through the voices of those who witnessed it."

I was expecting, from that, to read a heavily primary-source based narrative about the use and development of British castles. Instead, it's a chronological series of texts (and occasionally photos or images) about different castles mostly in England that Goodall uses to illuminate different aspects of "the castle" as a physical site, a social site, a military site, and so on. Each vignette is only a couple of pages long, and certainly does meet that brief - to show the myriad of roles that castles played. It is an interesting idea... but it's not what I was after. Very much a 'me not you' situation.
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A definitive guide to the British castle across the centuries. The history of the castle in Britain from the early Middle Ages to the present day has been spectacularly brought to life in this amazingly spellbinding book.
There are brilliant photographs to accompany each castle, along with plenty of text. Incredibly interesting from start to finish, the book's detail is second to none.
With fascinating insights into the history of each individual castle, the book becomes a fountain of knowledge and it would grace any reference shelf in any library.
There is a full glossary containing a list of useful words to look out for. Plus, a full index of dates when the castles were built. It is also fully up to date as it includes the renovation of Windsor after the fire.
I cannot praise The Castle highly enough, and it is a book that I am sure will make its way onto our library shelf. 
Thank you, NetGalley, and Yale University Press, for the ARC.
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