The Norman Conquest

The Norman Conquest

Book - 2012
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"The Norman Conquest starts with the most decisive battle in English history and continues with dramatic rebellions and their ruthless suppression, eventually resulting in the creation of the English nation. The repercussions of the Conquest are with us still. The book begins with the Saxon kings, specifically Edward the Confessor, and shows how England was in constant conflict as the English fell prey to both Vikings and Normans. In the north, King Harold destroys his Viking namesake at the battle of Stamford Bridge but immediately has to hurry south to confront William of Normandy at Hastings. His defeat, and the destruction of the Anglo-Saxon warrior caste, leads inexorably to William's forceful occupation of an unwilling country, and this is the ruthless story Marc Morris tells. It is a drama crammed with intrigue, bloodshed and betrayal, featuring vivid, almost deranged characters: Edward the Confessor, who spurns his queen in their marriage bed to spite her family, even though it spells the end of his own dynasty; the heroic King Harold, the hero of Stamford Bridge and the last Saxon king, who perjures himself, betrays his brother and puts aside his wife in his bid for the throne; William the Bastard, later known as the Conqueror, who assembles the mightiest invasion fleet in the middle ages and after unexpected success almost destroys the country he has won."--Publisher description.
Publisher: London : Hutchinson, 2012.
ISBN: 9780091931452
Characteristics: xvii, 440 pages, [16] pages of plates :,illustrations (chiefly color), genealogical tables, maps ;,24 cm

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cstorz
Jun 10, 2018

This book is a fascinating view into the history of William's quest to conquer Anglo-Saxon England in the 11th century. What follows is a highly complicated web of the political inter-relations, backstabbings, revenge killings, shifting alliances, and general chaos that swept over the land at the time of the Conqueror's coming. While being a bit dense to slog through, it is still a remarkable piece of historical research and investigation that gives us a sense of just how incredible that time was.

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Logovore
Aug 23, 2015

Excellent review of one of--if not the--most important eras of English history.

I have heard the Conquest described as the reason England developed culturally as part of Western Europe rather than Northern Europe.

The author brackets the period in the text, providing the context both before and after the event. In addition, he cogently assesses the source materials and clearly identifies their various biases and/or shortcomings. It's quite an interesting read.

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