Castle to Fortress (Kindle)
Medieval to Post-Modern Fortifications in the Lands of the Former Roman Empire
Across western Europe the long tradition of castle-building took on its most sophisticated form in the later medieval period and then, in response to the development of gunpowder weapons, it underwent a fundamental change – from castle to fortress. This, the second volume of a highly illustrated new study of medieval fortification, gives a fascinating insight into the last great age of castles and the centuries of violence and conflict they were part of.
It traces the advances made between the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries, looking in particular at the form these fortifications took in contexts as different as Italy, Wales, France and the Iberian peninsula. Many would regard this period in the history of castles as the classic age. It was followed by a phase of relative decline as the conditions of warfare changed and castles had to be adapted to cope with cannon. The conventional castle gave way to new styles of fortification. But, as the authors demonstrate, they were still essential factors in military calculations and campaigns – they were of direct strategic and tactical importance wherever there was an attempt to take or hold territory.
It is a book that I recommend for those who want to know the history and evolution of defensive architecture at the turn of the late Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance.Old Barbed Wire Blog
Read the full Italian review here
Another of the Kaufmann series of interesting books with lots of detail.Pillbox Study Group
This, the second volume of a highly illustrated new study of medieval fortification, gives a fascinating insight into the last great age of castles and the centuries of violence and conflict they were part of.
The Kaufmanns examine the transition from vast medieval family homes to places of safety and security in a fascinating treatise on the way such buildings were modified to provide protection from growing threats.Books Monthly
This book follows on from its predecessor ‘Castrum to Castle’ by tracing the development of fortifications in the late medieval period through the radical rethink demanded by the increasing effectiveness of gunpowder weaponry. Designs of fortifications change to reflect the physics and power of cannon, delivering defences that looked quite different. The authors have clearly expended large amounts of time in presenting each castle/fortress with exceptional maps and photographs that give context, coupled with the relevant history. A good read and a good reference book.Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide