After listening to Lars Brownsworth's 12 Byzantine Emperors, I decided to listen to his Norman Centuries podcast, despite feeling the Normans were the "bad guys" who ruined the good thing the Anglo Saxons had going on in Britain before William got involved. I still think the Normans were a group of thugs, but I did get interested in their adventures in Italy, as well as their involvement in the First Crusade.
It turns out these Normans are a group I could get behind for wargaming. From small scale raids with SAGA, to the actual battles involved between William, Harold Godwinson, and Harald Hardrada, the Norman invasion of Sicily and Italy, and finally their trek to Jerusalem, there's plenty of fodder for wargames large and small. My knowledge of the 11th century is woefully shallow, so I've decided to put together a reading list to bone up on the period before painting up hundreds of Norman knights.
I already polished off a few books:
- 1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry1066: The Year of the Conquest
- The Year 1000.
- 1066: The Year of the Conquest
Edit: The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land from the recommendation in the comments. Thanks Bob!
As far as books go, and all the good things the English were doing before the Normans came along, you'd do well to read 1066: The Year of the Conquest (http://www.amazon.com/1066-Year-Conquest-David-Howarth/dp/0140058508). Pretty slender volume and a quick read, but picks up on some of the English-side politics that lead up to the Conquest (stuff that wasn't covered in the 1066 Bayeux book) and speculates on some context for Harold's decisions.ReplyDelete
Also, The Crusades is kind of a must read, at least the swaths on the first two Crusades (the third makes up a big chunk of the book, but echoes Warriors of God in a lot of places). http://www.amazon.com/Crusades-Authoritative-History-Holy-Land/dp/0060787295/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345382395&sr=1-1&keywords=the+crusades
Oh 1066: Year of Conquest! Yes, I did read that! Added it to the list above. Thanks for the rec on "The Crusades"... going to check it out.ReplyDelete
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