While the date 1066 is familiar to almost everybody as the year of the Norman conquest of England, few can place the event in the context of the dramatic year in which it took place. In this book, David Howarth attempts to bring alive the struggle for the succession to the English crown from the death of Edward the Confessor in January 1066 to the ...
While the date 1066 is familiar to almost everybody as the year of the Norman conquest of England, few can place the event in the context of the dramatic year in which it took place. In this book, David Howarth attempts to bring alive the struggle for the succession to the English crown from the death of Edward the Confessor in January 1066 to the Christmas coronation of Duke William of Normandy. There is an almost uncanny symmetry, as well as a relentlessly exciting surge, of events leading to and from the Battle of Hastings. The author draws on the wealth of contemporary sources to describe Harold Godwinson's seizure of the throne, the brilliant defeat of the invasion from Norway at Stamford bridge and the forced march south to eventual defeat at Hastings. Howarth recounts events from the perspective of the common Englishman - describing how he worked, fought and died - and how he perceived from his isolated shire the overthrow of his world.
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Basic review of 1066 but I was looking for a bit more information. Did not feel there were any errors but lots of guesses & suppositions. A "bare bones" basic historical presentation, but will look for books with more "meat" in them. I was truly hopinig for more!
Jun 23, 2011
1066 from a different perspective
Most of us got about 2 paragraphs in history books about William the Conqueror and Battle of Hastings. I thought he was just one more marauding barbarian driven blindly by need for conquest and booty. Not so. This wonderfully readable book reveals the story behind William of Normandy and the fateful year of 1066. He had a long history with King Edward and his successor King Harold and believed he was the rightful heir to the throne.
The best thing about this book, however, is the picture it paints of the ordinary Englishman's life and that time. An appreciation for the trials and tribulations of our ancestors gives me a much fuller appreciation of my life and the endless tenacity of living things to continue despite incredible odds.
Jul 10, 2008
Enjoyable writing style
Unlike many historical authors, David Howarth is a writer who manages to hold interest while giving you historically accurate accounts and rounding out the flavor of the times. I sometimes struggle reading real history but I believe that has much to do with the way the material is presented. Having read a number of books about the Norman Invasion I can honestly say this was a most pleasurable experience. Great job Mr. Howarth!
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