Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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***Castles and Forts

by Simon Adams

Reviewed February 3, 2004.
Kingfisher, Boston, 2003.  64 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (J 355.7 ADA).

Here’s a nice and thorough history of fortifications around the world.  There are three chapters—The First Forts, The Great Age of Castles, and the End of an Era. 

The beginning chapter talks about structures built before traditional castles, such as the Great Wall of China and Masada, as well as Bronze Age fortifications.

The second chapter discusses the wave of castle-building that began around the time of William the Conqueror.  It talks about different types of castles that were built, not only in Europe, but also in Japan, South America, and India.

The final chapter brings us to more modern times, including forts in America and forts used during World War I.  They even mention a stockade built during a miner’s dispute in Australia (although the Australian aborigines were peaceful people and didn’t build fortifications).  There’s a spread for Neuschwanstein, King Ludwig of Bavaria’s romantic castle built simply as a showpiece, so he could live in a castle.

This book does a nice job of presenting the history of fortifications all over the world.  The pictures are excellent, and suggestions are given for further study, including websites and books for further reading.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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