While I am listening to UCSD's series about the Byzantine Empire and reading Lars Brownworth's book Lost to the West which can out of his previous podcast series 12 Byzantine Rulers, Lars is continuing his new series Norman Centuries.
Lars has a knack for telling stories. Granted, the Normans are giving him plenty juicy stuff to report about, with their upstart leaders and audacious politicking in Medieval France, but his soothing calm voice and gentle use of language make it an ironic treat. A fine example of such irony is to be found in the fourth episode Magnificent Devil, about Robert I, Duke of Normandy. Robert brazen and risky strive for power earned him the nickname Magnificent Devil, yet his success allow him to safely settle to power and even acquire dignity.
I am looking forward to the next episode, which will be about William the Conqueror, Robert's son. At the current speed at which the episodes come out, it will take a couple of weeks and I will have time to finish Lars's book. As to the book; I have not yet compared the chapters with the text of the Byzantine podcast, but I intend to do that and report to you how close the two products are.
More Norman Centuries:
Richard the Fearless,
Norman Centuries - Lars is back!.