The English and the Normans: Ethnic Hostility, Assimilation, and Identity 1066-C.1220

Research output: Book/ReportBook

116 Scopus citations


Since the Anglo-Norman period itself, the relations between the English and the Normans have formed a subject of lively debate. For most of that time, however, complacency about the inevitability of assimilation and of the Anglicisation of Normans after 1066 has ruled. This book first challenges that complacency, then goes on to explain why the two peoples merged and the Normans became English following years of ethnic hostility. Drawing on anthropological theory, the latest scholarship on Anglo-Norman England, and sources ranging from charters and legal documents to saints' lives and romances, it provides an exploration of ethnic relations on the levels of personal interaction, cultural assimilation, and the construction of identity, investigating the notion of 'Englishness' in the Middle Ages. As a result, the work provides a case study in pre-modern ethnic relations that combines both old and new approaches, and sheds new light on some of the most important developments in English history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages474
ISBN (Electronic)9780191719134
ISBN (Print)0199251231, 9780199251230
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Anglicisation
  • Anglo-Norman Period
  • Cultural Assimilation
  • England
  • Englishness
  • Ethnic Hostility
  • Ethnic Identity
  • Ethnic Relations
  • Middle Ages
  • Normans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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