Behind the Castle Gate: From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Front Cover
Routledge, Apr 15, 2013 - History - 232 pages

In this engaging book Matthew Johnson looks 'behind the castle gate' to discover the truth about castles in England at the end of the Middle Ages.

Traditional studies have seen castles as compromises between the needs of comfort and of defence, and as statements of wealth or power or both. By encouraging the reader to view castles in relation to their inhabitants, Matthew Johnson uncovers a whole new vantage point. He shows how castles functioned as stage-settings against which people played out roles of lord and servant, husband and wife, father and son. Building, rebuilding and living in a castle was as complex an experience as a piece of medieval art.

Behind the Castle Gate brings castles and their inhabitants alive. Combining ground-breaking scholarship with fascinating narratives it will be read avidly by all with an interest in castles.


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