The Normans in the South, 1016-1130

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Faber & Faber, Nov 3, 2011 - History - 388 pages

This book is about the 'other' Norman Conquest. It is the story of Robert Guiscard, perhaps the most extraordinary European adventurer between Caesar and Napoleon. In one year, 1084, he had both the Eastern and Western Emperors retreating before him and one of the most formidable of medieval Popes in his power. It is also the story of his brother Roger, thanks to whom he conquered Sicily from the Saracens; and of Roger's descendants, notably his son Roger 11, who converted his father's achievement into a cosmopolitan and cultivated kingdom whose surviving monuments still dazzle us today.

The Normans in the South is the first of two volumes that recount the dazzling story of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. The second volume The Kingdom of the Sun is also being reissued in Faber Finds.

'Diligence, narrative skill, and a scholarship fired by enthusiasm' Lord Kinross, Sunday Telegraph

'I found the book very enjoyable indeed. It is beautifully written.' Nancy Mitford

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

942 The Other Conquest, by John Julius Norwich (read 16 Jan 1968) I read this because I thought I should read about things I know little about. The book is a readable (and not very scholarly) account ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nessreader - LibraryThing

Not as entertaining as his later work; in this, Norwich resists any temptation to colour in the personalities with guesswork and make anecdotes out of fragments of data. Still readable, and covers a history anglophones aren't always aware of. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

John Julius Norwich was born in 1929. He joined the British Foreign Service after studying French and Russian at Oxford, and left the service in 1964 to become a writer. He has also worked extensively in radio and television, hosting the popular BBC radio panel game My Word! for several years, and writing and presenting historical documentaries. His many books include an acclaimed Byzantium trilogy., John Julius, 2nd Viscount Norwich, was born in 1929, the son of the statesman and diplomat Alfred Duff Cooper (1st Viscount) and the Lady Diana Cooper. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, at Eton, at the University of Strasbourg and on the lower deck of the Royal Navy before taking a degree in French and Russian at New College, Oxford. In 1952 he joined the Foreign Service, where he remained for twelve years, serving at the embassies in Belgrade and Beirut and with the British Delegation to the Disarmament Conference at Geneva. In 1964 he resigned from the service in order to write.
His many and varied publications include two books on the medieval Norman Kingdom in Sicily, The Normans in the South and The Kingdom in the Sun, which are published by Faber Finds; The Architecture of Southern England; Glyndebourne; and A History of Venice, originally published in two volumes. He is also the author of a three-volume history of the Byzantine Empire. He has written and presented some thirty historical documentaries for television, and is a regular lecturer on Venice and numerous other subjects.

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