Verified Purchase. As my knowledge of such early European history is very limited, I certainly recommend this book to anyone wanting an overall view of the impressive influence that the Normans had in helping to shape modern European countries. The author has most certainly done his homework as the hundreds of names and brief profiles on most of them is absolutely mind-boggling!!!!!
July 18, - Published on Amazon. Thorough review but you will need some knowledge of places, people and geography..
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June 15, - Published on Amazon. This is a very interesting book. It covers essentials and is fairly accurate when comparing with other literature on the subject. August 3, - Published on Amazon. Well presented.
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Normans - Wikipedia
Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. Domesday Book suggests that, contrary to popular belief, the English economy had fully recovered by Data for some estates can be spotty: but a conservative reading of the book shows that the aggregate wealth of England barely changed in the two decades following Brentry. Taken at face value, total wealth actually increased. Of the 26 counties for which there are decent data, half actually rose in value.
Things only got better. Real GDP growth in was probably two to three times what it was in the pre-conquest period. Mr Thomas suggests that productivity may have improved.
People had more money, and they wanted to spend it. According to a paper by John Langdon and James Masschaele, prior to the 12th century only a very small number of fairs and markets can be documented. About 60 markets are mentioned in Domesday Book. But traders and suppliers bloomed as the economy expanded: around markets existed by the end of the 12th century.
The rapid commercialisation of the English economy had profound effects on workers. Slaves, a significant minority of the population before the invasion, were freed: in Essex, their number fell by a quarter in By the 12th century, it had almost completely ended. Labour became more specialised, and more people became self-employed or worked for wages. Over new towns were founded in ; the population of England jumped from 2.
Though the country as a whole fared well, not every part of it did. The conquest was longer-lasting and more brutal in the north. People in places like Northumbria and York did not consider themselves English, let alone French their allegiances were more with the Scots and Scandinavians. So they launched a series of rebellions shortly after the Normans took power. William showed no mercy in crushing them. According to Orderic Vitalis, another chronicler, on his deathbed William recalled what he had done.
Herds of sheep and cattle [were] slaughtered [and] I chastised a great multitude of men and women with the lash of starvation. According to Domesday Book, in estates in southern England were somewhat richer than northern ones. But with Brentry, the gap jumped: by southern estates were four times as wealthy. The scale of the destruction was astonishing. The population of York, the city at the centre of the harrying, probably halved. In , no part of the country north of present-day Birmingham had an income per household higher than the national average.
The country grew more unequal: the Gini coefficient of English manors rose from 64 before the invasion to 71 after a Gini coefficient of would mark perfect inequality. In terms of average estate wealth, the richest county was seven times richer than the poorest in , but 18 times richer in The north may always have been destined for relative poverty: it has poorer land and a worse climate; it is farther from markets.
But economic history shows that long-ago events can leave lasting scars. And, almost a millennium later, descendants of the conquerors still enjoy disproportionate privilege; Gregory Clark, an economist at the University of California, Davis, finds that students with Norman surnames from Domesday are still over-represented at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
So it may not be surprising that the regions which suffered worst in the conquest were more likely to have voted to throw off the modern Norman yoke in the Brexit referendum. But expect no economic good to come from it. Join them. Subscribe to The Economist today.
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The Normans in European History
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