In 2010, David Bates presented the Ford Lectures in British History at the University of Oxford, and The Normans and Empire is the book which was born from these lectures. It provides an interpretative analysis of the history of the cross-Channel empire created by William the Conqueror in 1066 to its end in 1204 when the duchy of Normandy was conquered by the French king, Philip Augustus, the so-called 'Loss of Normandy'. This volume emphasizes the cross-Channel and Continental dimensions of the subject, and uses modern approaches to suggest new interpretations. Bates proposes that historians of the Normans can learn from the methods of social scientists and historians of other periods of history - such as making use of such tools as life-stories and biographies - and he employs such methods to offer an interpretative history of the Normans, as well as a broader history of England, the British Isles, and Northern France in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
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