In This Article Anglo-Norman Realm

  • Introduction
  • Bibliographies
  • Journals
  • Modern Studies of the Sources
  • The Anglo-Normans and their French Neighbors

Medieval Studies Anglo-Norman Realm
Emily Zack Tabuteau
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 May 2014
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0143


The Anglo-Norman world was created by the union of Normandy and England in 1066, when William, duke of Normandy conquered the kingdom of England. Its beginning date is therefore obvious, but historians differ on when it ended. The most common date is 1154, the end of the reign of William the Conqueror’s grandson Stephen, even though during those eighty-eight years England and Normandy were jointly ruled for only approximately sixty-three. Because Stephen was a son of a count of Blois, some historians consider that the Anglo-Norman period ended with the death of Henry I or in 1144, when Stephen lost control of Normandy; and some carry the date forward through the first dozen years of the reign of Henry II, which makes an even century (1066–1166) and can be justified on the grounds that the major changes of Henry’s reign began about 1166. The conventional date of 1154 for the Anglo-Norman period will be used in this article. The Norman Conquest of England had profound effects not only for England but also for Normandy. Estimates of how much change it brought to each area vary from historian to historian: some argue that most of the developments in England after 1066 would have occurred without the Conquest, and others argue that its consequences were profound, whether for good or for ill. Nonetheless, every historian who discusses any aspect of life in the Anglo-Norman realm must consider the changes that occurred and how much difference they made. The on-again off-again war between England and France that began in 1066 (because William the Conqueror was by then already involved in war with his theoretical overlord the king of France) ended only with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. The Anglo-Saxon nobility was almost completely replaced by a French (primarily Norman) aristocracy, and many Norman families were greatly enriched by land in England. The church in England rapidly came to be headed by men of Continental extraction with Continental ideas about everything from liturgy to architecture, and the church in Normandy was enriched both directly by gifts of loot from England and indirectly by the wealth that its lay patrons acquired there. Normans began to build and rebuild in England and use their new wealth to build and rebuild in Normandy. The French language, castles, and Jews were all new in England after 1066. While changes in law, government, the economy, and society are more difficult to assess, they must also be considered. Because some inhabitants of the Anglo-Norman realm moved beyond its borders while retaining their sense of being Norman, this bibliography also includes sections on the Normans in European History, Normans in Southern Italy, and Normans on Crusade and in the Crusader States.


Many of the works cited in other sections have excellent bibliographies. In addition, several stand-alone bibliographies exist. Altschul 1969 covers the same period as this article but emphasizes works on England: Normandy comes up only in conjunction with England. Bates 1987 is the only modern bibliography of Domesday Book. Brown 1988 is the best of several roughly contemporary collections of studies of the Bayeux Tapestry.

  • Altschul, Michael. Anglo-Norman England, 1066–1154. London and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1969.

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    The only bibliographical work specifically devoted to the Anglo-Norman period. Not annotated but organized by topic and with an index of authors. There are 1,838 entries.

  • Bates, David. A Bibliography of Domesday Book. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 1987.

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    The 4,684 entries here are divided between general studies and works on individual counties, some annotated.

  • Brown, Shirley Ann. The Bayeux Tapestry: History and Bibliography. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 1988.

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    A brief history of the tapestry as an object and a historiography of the tapestry followed by chronologically arranged annotated bibliographies of studies of the tapestry, related documents and reproductions and facsimiles, plus non-annotated alphabetically arranged bibliographies of literary sources and background readings. There are 523 total entries.

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