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The Domesday Quest: In Search of the Roots of England Paperback – Aug 28 2007

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great heritage, but not so sure about the 'English individualism' ... Dec 22 2012
By Harry - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Michael Wood brings out the singular importance of the Domesday Book - an extraordinary and detailed record from 900 year ago of a society at a time of change. Or seemingly a time of change? The author seeks to establish that the Book reflects a continuum (particularly of rural life) from the times of the ancient Britons, through the Roman and Anglo-Saxon eras, to the Norman conquest. Much was changing at the political level, but at the social and economic level, life continued. Each of the eras generated fusion - `Celtic' at the core, with overlays of Roman, Germanic and Norman; Wood takes this further to pose the interesting question as to the part played by landscape in producing a society and so-called national characteristics (e.g. rugged independence).

I found the efforts of the author in tracking the development of `English individualism' less satisfying. Is there really a difference between English and say, Italian or Danish individualism? The book could have done without this - but I really did enjoy the way the author brought the individuals recorded in the Domesday Book to life. Michael Wood ranged across the Kingdom, as did the Norman scribes, and has done a great service in bringing the heritage (national and regional) to the fore - the migrations, the disputes, the plagues, the decline in birth rate and population and much more. All very interesting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great introduction Dec 21 2011
By C. M. Clarke - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wood has done it again: provided a readable, accessible, interesting, yet academically grounded study of an important historical subject. I only wish it were a bit longer and provided more detail.

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