John Martin Robinson

Keeping Up Appearances

The English Castle 1066–1650


Yale University Press 548pp £45 order from our bookshop

England is dotted with hundreds of castles, some in ruins, some still inhabited. They remain the most romantic and popular historic buildings in the country, visited by millions every year. For centuries they were at the heart of the kingdom’s social and political life, acting as strongholds, centres of government, political showpieces and residences. John Goodall’s study successfully sets castles in their general historic context, tracing their development in England through the Middle Ages and well beyond. He surveys a period of some 600 years, from the Norman Conquest to the end of the Civil War in the 1650s, and the book’s strength lies in his knowledge and exposition of the historical background and his firmly presented thesis.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Her favourite design included a body in the shape of a horse, with a steam engine inside ... The passenger would t… ,
    • Sign up to our email newsletter below! Get free articles, highlights from the archive, and chances to win theatre… ,
    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,