Castles in Medieval Society: Fortresses in England, France, and Ireland in the Central Middle Ages

Paperback | July 1, 2004

byCharles Coulson

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In this challenging new book Charles Coulson overturns many of the traditional assumptions about the nature and purpose of castle-building in the middle ages. He demolishes the traditional belief that castles were overwhelmingly military in their function, showing how this was simply oneaspect of a more complicated whole. He sets out to recreate the medieval understanding of castles as symbolically fortified places of all kinds, from ancient walled post-Roman towns and prestigious religious enclaves to transitory campaign forts. Going back to the original sources, Dr Coulson proposes a new and more subtle understanding of the function and symbolism of castles as well as vivid insights into the lives of the people who inhabited them. Fortresses were only occasionally caught up in war, but constantly were central to theordinary life of all classes: of the nobility and gentry, of widows and heiresses, of prelates and clergy, of peasantry and townspeople alike. Castles in Medieval Society presents and explores this broad social panorama.

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In this challenging new book Charles Coulson overturns many of the traditional assumptions about the nature and purpose of castle-building in the middle ages. He demolishes the traditional belief that castles were overwhelmingly military in their function, showing how this was simply oneaspect of a more complicated whole. He sets out t...

Charles Coulson is an Honorary Research Fellow, School of History, University of Kent.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:454 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.09 inPublished:July 1, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199273634

ISBN - 13:9780199273638

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Table of Contents

Part I. Castles: Ancient, Various, and Sociable1. A Fresh Look at Early Castles2. Variety Violated: Some Conceptual Problems3. Some Social Relations of 'Castles and Fortresses'Part II. Castles and the Public Interest4. Noble Military 'Liberties', Ethos, and Ethics5. Peacekeeping at Home and Abroad6. Private Property but Public UtilityPart III. Castellans, Colonization, and Rural Community7. Castle-Lords, Castle-Lordships, and Noble Civilization8. Colonization and Fortresses9. Population and Fortresses: Protection and PerquisitesPart IV. Castles and Circumstances of Widows, Guardians, and Heiresses10. Female Castellans: Prevision not Prejudice11. Ladies of Fortresses and Castle-ChildrenEpilogueBibliographyIndex