Medieval history - help

(14 Posts)
ProfessorLayton1 Sat 14-Sep-19 22:52:04

I am not sure if this can be posted in this section but doing it anyway... as I have got used to you lot and am sure that you will help me out.

Can someone recommend me good history book / documentary so I can read/ watch about Medieval history?
I have very little knowledge about this era as I grew up in a different country. I have read / watched programs about world war1 and 2, Henry the VIII, reformation so have some grasp about these periods but have no clue about medieval period.

I do find history fascinating and would really appreciate if you can point me towards any good history source/ book.

OP’s posts: |
boys3 Sat 14-Sep-19 23:00:49

Dan Jones could be worth a look - there was also a channel 4 or 5 documetary that he fronted. At the start of the period Adrian Goldsworthy The Fall of the West perhaps.

ProfessorLayton1 Sun 15-Sep-19 07:39:03

Thanks boys3..

OP’s posts: |
GrimalkinsCrone Sun 15-Sep-19 08:11:27

Dan Jones is a good introduction, and he knows his stuff.

goodbyestranger Sun 15-Sep-19 08:12:48

Simon Schama's A History of Britain is very readable - you can then get into more detail according to what you find of particular interest.

It was also made into a BBC series.

stucknoue Sun 15-Sep-19 08:23:49

There's a documentary on bbc4 called the she wolves of Britain or something like that, I second Simon schwarma, Alison weirs books are good. Bbc4 though keep an eye out there's lots of good ones

GrimalkinsCrone Sun 15-Sep-19 08:46:18

Elizabeth Chadwick writes fiction, but she’s also an excellent historian.


SaskiaRembrandt Sun 15-Sep-19 09:06:12

I'd also recommend Simon Schama - the medieval period covers such a long time frame, his books would help you to understand the broad sweep in context. You could then find the areas you are most interested in and look for authors like Dan Jones or Alison Weir who specialise in them.

ProfessorLayton1 Sun 15-Sep-19 10:05:02

Thanks a lot, will check them out.
I would need some diversion after Dd1 goes to uni next week, this will keep me occupied!

OP’s posts: |
StarbucksSmarterSister Sun 15-Sep-19 10:10:12

For fiction read Sharon Penman.

Non fiction and tv - Helen Castor. They are both the best in their respective fields.

berlinbabylon Sun 15-Sep-19 21:38:26

This might be worth getting from your library:

MandMand Thu 19-Sep-19 12:43:49

If you'd like something to listen to while you get on with other stuff/commute/run etc, then you could try the History of England podcast - its now up to the Tudors but you should be able to download the old episodes on the medieval period. It a really interesting and entertaining listen, but also very detailed and comprehensive.

BoudicasBoudoir Fri 20-Sep-19 12:37:00

I have a degree in medieval history and my husband felt he knew nothing... so he's been catching up. He found the audiobook of Winston Churchill's The History of the English Speaking Peoples to be an entertaining starting point. His version is read by Christian Rodska, who is very good. Some of the views and theories expressed are definitely not fashionable any more, but it does give a useful linear chronology.

As others have said, Simon Schama did a good overview more recently.

Another historian to look out for on BBC4 repeat (or the i-player history section) is Robert Bartlett on the Normans and Plantagenets.

And seriously, a good way of getting a quick overview, if you are completely new to the subject, would be a good children's book - something like the Usborne History of Britain Middle Ages.

SirTobyBelch Fri 20-Sep-19 13:44:54

BBC4 has done lots of good history documentary series, which are repeated regularly.

I'd always read bits of mediæval history but my interest really took off after reading John J Robinson's Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades. Although it does focus on the rise & fall of the Templars, it covers quite a lot of what was going on in European politics at the time. It's very entertaining, although probably not entirely unbiased.

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