Robin Hood by J. C. Holt: The legend of Robin Hood began more than 600 years ago. The man, if he existed at all, lived even earlier. In this definitive work, Professor Sir James Holt, one of Britain’s premier historians and author of the standard work on the Magna Carta, unravels pure invention from real possibility and offers the results of some thirty years of research.
He assesses the evidence for the historical Robin Hood and finds that the tale originated with the yeomen and hangers-on of the households of noblemen and gentry in the later Middle Ages. Parts of the story that we now take for granted—Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, Robin as robber of the rich and giver to the poor, even Sherwood Forest—played little or no part in the original tales, and were added as the centuries passed and the legends grew.
The legend of Robin Hood has enthralled people from the first ballads to contemporary movies. Holt reconstructs the historical basis of the stories but never loses sight of the human imagination that sustained them. This edition includes new illustrations and The Gest of Robyn Hood, one of the oldest surviving tales. 16 color and 9 black-and-white illustrations
The Norman Conquest by Marc Morris: An upstart French duke who sets out to conquer the most powerful and unified kingdom in Christendom.An invasion force on a scale not seen since the days of the Romans. One of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever fought. This new history explains why the Norman Conquest was the most significant cultural and military episode in English history.Assessing the original evidence at every turn, Marc Morris goes beyond the familiar outline to explain why England was at once so powerful and yet so vulnerable to William the Conqueror’s attack; why the Normans, in some respects less sophisticated, possessed the military cutting edge; how William’s hopes of a united Anglo-Norman realm unraveled, dashed by English rebellions, Viking invasions, and the insatiable demands of his fellow conquerors.This is a tale of powerful drama, repression, and seismic social change: the Battle of Hastings itself; the sudden introduction of castles and the massive rebuilding of every major church; the total destruction of an ancient ruling class. Language, law, architecture, and even attitudes toward life itself were altered forever by the coming of the Normans. 32 pages of B&W and color illustrations
One Continuous Fight by Eric J. Wittenberg: Few aspects of the battle of Gettysburg are as misunderstood as the role played by the cavalry of both sides. Protecting the Flank at Gettysburg: The Battles for Brinkerhoff’s Ridge and East Cavalry Field, July 2-3, 1863 by award-winning author Eric J. Wittenberg is the first and only book to examine in significant detail how the mounted arm directly affected the outcome of the battle.