From coast to coast, the English landscape is still richly studded with castles both great and small. As homes or ruins, these historic buildings are today largely objects of curiosity. For centuries, however, they were at the heart of the kingdom's social and political life. "The English Castle" is a riveting architectural study that sets this legion of buildings in historical context, tracing their development from the Norman Conquest in 1066 through the civil wars of the 1640s. In this magnificent, compellingly written volume, which includes over 350 illustrations, John Goodall brings to life the history of the English castle over six centuries. In it he explores the varied architecture of these buildings and describes their changing roles in warfare, politics, domestic living, and governance.