1066: The Year of the Conquest

3.8
It is one of the most important dates in the istory of the Western world: 1066, the year William the Conqueror defeated the English at the attle of Hastings and changed England and the English forever. Yet the events leading to-and following-this turning point in history are shrouded in suspense and distorted by the biased accounts written by a subjugated people, and many believe it was the English who ultimately won, since the Normans became assimilated into the English way of life. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, David Howarth gives us memorable portraits of the leading characters and their thoughts. At the same time he enables us to see the events of that year from the contex of common Englishmen, and along the way we learn how they lived, worked, fought, and died-and how they perceived from their isolated shires the overthrow of their world.
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Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published January 1st 1978 by Dorset Press (first published 1977
Original Title of the Book
1066: The Year of the Conquest
Number of Pages
207

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gave it

Leigh writes like he knows the 950 plus year old resident in this essay, as if they all lived next door to him for days, and he 's just telling their life stor.

gave it

I picked up this slender volume along with a few others on the last walk to visit that place, the Amarynth and the Public Library, Bookman 's owner assuring me that he 'd be around for at least another month.I 'd read Howarth before, some of his WWII memoirs about Norway.

gave it

My favorites aspect of his writing style is his matter of fact tone: he says, “ Here ’ s what one original source says, here ’ s what this other original source says, here ’ s why they ’ re both suspect, and, for what it ’ s worth, here ’ s what I think probably happened. ” It ’ s quality, in-depth scholarship for people with short attention spans.

gave it

This may be a little romanticized- the Anglo-Saxons, unlike their Norman successors, practiced slavery after all – but it creates an appealing contrast to grimly militaristic Normandy, and to the fire and sword William brought to his new domain.Peaceful as its subjects' lives may have been, England was, at the level of the royal ourt, unstable.

Leigh gives thoughtful character sketches of each of these actresse, and fine and pithy descriptions of rural village life, of the two coronations that bookended the year ( Harold 's and Richard 's), of the primitive ships that William somehow used to bring his army and horses to England, and of the climactic Battle of Hastings.

gave it

Even knowing the outcome ahead of time, the tory is still so engrossing that you ca n't help but keep turning the page.I quite agree with Turne 's assessment of the principal characters; how he 'd have liked King Harold, felt sorry for Tostig, and been terrified of William.

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