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

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"In this new book Charles Coulson overturns many of the traditional assumptions about the nature and purpose of castle-building in the middle ages." 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 providing vivid insights into the lives of the people who inhabited them. Fortresses were only occasionally caught up in war, but constantly were central to the ordinary life of all classes of the nobility and gentry, of widows and heiresses, of prelates and ...
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New York 2004 Hard Cover Reprint Edition New. No Dustjacket 7 x 10" NEW HARDCOVER. 2nd printing, 441pages.

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Overview

"In this new book Charles Coulson overturns many of the traditional assumptions about the nature and purpose of castle-building in the middle ages." 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 providing vivid insights into the lives of the people who inhabited them. Fortresses were only occasionally caught up in war, but constantly were central to the ordinary 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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198208242
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Kent at Canterbury
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
A Fresh Look at Early Castles 15
1 Fortresses in Transition 16
2 The Carolingian Response to Invasion 19
3 Castles and Social Reconstruction 24
Variety Violated: Some Conceptual Problems 29
1 The Modern Construct of 'The Castle' 30
2 Some Contrasts With the Sources 42
3 Castellaries Were Also 'Castles' 49
Some Social Relations of 'Castles and Fortresses' 64
1 Earthwork and Ashlar: Policing, Hierarchy, and Aesthetics 66
2 Architectural Eulogy and Noble Ambition 76
3 Some Incidentals of the Castle Image 84
4 Conclusions: Part I - Castles 'For All the Folk' 91
Noble Military 'Liberties', Ethos and Ethics 98
1 Weaponry and Architecture 99
2 The Aura and the Abuse of Arms 104
3 'Adventures', 'Feasts of Arms', and Fortresses 112
4 Castles: Innocent or Guilty? 117
Peacekeeping at Home and Abroad 128
1 Fortifying and 'Purprestures', 1217-c.1274 128
2 Pacification and Fortifications, 1217-c.1226 135
3 The Angevin Record and 'French' Treaties, 1160-1200 141
4 Anglo-Scottish Affairs, 1209-1388 149
Private Property But Public Utility 154
1 Legitimate Sequestration and Improper Demolition 154
2 Lordly Castles in 'Public' Use 163
3 Class-Conflict and Fortification 173
4 Communes and Community 179
5 Conclusions: Part II - Castles Were Not Anti-Social 186
Castle-Lords, Castle-Lordships, and Noble Civilization 192
1 Some Greater English Castellans: Pride, Responsibility, and Danger 192
2 Castellation and Jurisdiction As Insignia of Nobility 205
3 Case-Studies in Seignorial Relations 211
Colonization and Fortresses 224
1 Castle-Building and Colonization: Ireland 225
2 Castles and Colonization, Mainly in France 233
3 Development and Confrontation: Bastides Not 'Fortresses' 239
Populace and Fortresses: Protection and Perquisites 252
1 The Refuge-system in England and the Channel Islands 253
2 The Refuge-system of Castellaries in France 264
3 Castle-works and Services, English and Welsh 275
4 Guet et Garde, Plat Pays, and Forteresse 285
5 Conclusions: Part III - Noble Rights and Public Advantage 291
Female Castellans: Prevision, Not Prejudice 297
1 Differentiating Fortress-Factors: Mainly in England 299
2 The Distinctiveness of Fortresses Under Chatelaines 311
3 Some Vicissitudes of Heiresses and Dowagers 327
Ladies of Fortresses and Castle Children 339
1 Thirteenth-Century Irish and Other Widows, Wards, and Castles 340
2 Inheritance and Survival, Chiefly in the March of Scotland 350
3 Chatelaines in Prosperity and in Adversity 366
4 Conclusions: Part IV - The Social Matrix 382
Epilogue 384
Bibliography 385
Index of Persons, Places, and Subjects 415
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