For those who have roots to that Island first called Albion, the terms 1066 and Hastings will forever be connected to the Normans. Having those roots, it did take me a little while to realize that the Normans had a much bigger story.
The following book by Christopher Gravett and David Nicolle opened my eyes to a broader picture of the Norman culture and history. These Normans played a role not only in British history, but a wider European history as well.
Their states (dynasties) they established in France, Italy, Sicily and Syria came to be important in world history. A history of the Normans and the military foundations that they forged, came to play a major role in many aspects of western European history. This book helps provide a context to realizing the larger role that the Normans played in the pages of history. From Viking days of the 9th and 10th century, to the last Norman stronghold in northern Syria (Antioch), their role is discussed. Stone castles seemed to be a remaining legacy.
Lots of pictures, maps, and historic accounts make this book a good read for those who want a much bigger picture.