Book Review / A Knight and His Castle

If you’re wondering how to write a history non-fiction which is almost impossible to put down, then Ewart Oakeshott’s books are masterclasses. They’re not the 700 page tomes that some books on these subjects are, but they’ll give you the grounding and knowledge to talk like a pro about medieval history.

These books are for ‘older readers’, which I assume to mean young to late teenagers, but if you are ignorant to this era in history these (and I mean all his short books) are possibly the most exciting starting point. If you visit a castle, for example Rochester Castle, or Caerphilly, or Corfe, you will be able to locate and identify the exact locations and structures he talks of in this book. You’ll be able to name the people who created and/or changed these buildings, attacked them and extended them. You’ll be able to work out the access and exits, where page training took place, who would be in the great hall (and where it was), and just how busy it would have been on a daily basis.

I’ve read and seen a lot of medieval history and castles, but this book still had me going, oooohh, that’s how that worked! and it is priceless for novel research, I tell you.

If you want to see pure passion in words, Oakeshott’s books should certainly be your next read. Next please!