The Normans: Professor Robert Bartlett embarks on an ambitious journey deep into the hearts and minds of a band of warriors who transformed medieval Europe. Bursting with colourful characters and illuminating detail, Professor Bartlett's story follows the fortunes of the Normans all the way from Scandinavia to Normandy and England in 1066. He then follows them south to Jerusalem via southern Italy, Sicily and modern day Turkey. He draws on Anglo-Saxon chronicles, medieval manuscripts and some of the most powerful examples of Norman architecture in an epic sweep of the period of Norman supremacy. And he reveals how the Norman legacy lives on in our culture and politics to this day.
Domesday: In a fascinating exploration of Domesday Book, medieval historian Dr Stephen Baxter reveals the human and political drama that lies within the parchment of England's earliest surviving public record. He also finds out the real reason it was commissioned by William the Conqueror. Most historians believe Domesday is some kind of tax book for raising revenue. But Baxter reveals why Domesday Book couldn't have been used to collect taxes. He argues that its real purpose was to give revolutionary new powers to England's first Norman King.
Storming Normans does not even come close to describing the impact of these soldiers in the 11th and 12th century. Prof Bartlett is a great presenter if a little blighted by styes/hordeolums. His account of 1066 is fascinating. Why did it only take 1 battle to conquer England? Why did he want to? There are a hundred things you thought you knew about the Normans that are only partly true. Dr Baxter's account of the Doomsday book is interesting but overshadowed by the better prepared and cleaner narrative of the preceding 3 episodes. The legacy of the Irish invasion remains with us today.