Review: Kings and Castles, Marc Morris

Rating: 2 out of 5

This was underwhelming. I like Marc Morris’ writings, but this book didn’t read as one. Combining essays into a book should probably take some effort, add some context, etc, but this was minimal in every way: the essays came one after another without a linking word or background.

What exacerbated this is that so many of them covered the same few topics (Edward I and Edward III) and as such, the reader got the same information again in every chapter (and, honestly, for Edward I the author already has a proper narrative history out so these essays should have been ignored). The information wasn’t bad — but the way it was put forward definitely was. As it is, I cannot think of a worse way to actually interest people in a topic rather than describing “X” in the same repetitive words again and again.

The saving grace, if it can be called that, could be summed up in some early chapters that were relatively unconnected to both the rest of the work as well as the specific topics of Mr Morris’ books which concerned some of the bigger magnates in England who are quite interesting on their own. Yet, there was no flow…

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