GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2008-12 > 1229918061
From: "~Bret,scion of Charle de Magne" <>
Subject: Re: Rivals Race To Film 1066
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 19:54:21 -0800 (PST)
References: <email@example.com><firstname.lastname@example.org><sOA3l.40392$UQ2.email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <6oB3l.14157$wW1.email@example.com><firstname.lastname@example.org>
On Dec 21, 8:27 pm, CE Wood <> wrote:
> We'll be fortunate if William wins..............
Review of 1066: The Year of the Conquest
In this short but well written narrative, Howarth paints moving
portraits of King Edward the Confessor, Harold of England, William of
Normandy, Earl Tostig, King Harald Hardrada, the people of England and
other players in the Norman conquest. Howarth does not conceal his
views, admitting at the outset that he "would have liked King Harold,
heartily disliked King Edward the Confessor, felt sorry for Earl
Tostig and terrified of Duke William, and found nothing whatever to
say to King Harald Hardrada of Norway." This is history with a bit of
passion, which makes it all the more enjoyable for the reader.
"1066" will also make you appreciate how hard it is to know anything
about a time like the Middle Ages, when very few people could read and
write and those who could were invariably working for whoever won the
latest battle. It will also give a sense of how contingent history is,
of how the world might have become a very different place if a few
events had happened in a different order. As it was, William the
Conqueror arrived at exactly the right time, while King Harold was at
the other end of England crushing King Harald Hardrada at the Battle
of Stamford Bridge. What would have happened if William's fleet had
been destroyed in a storm, or if he had arrived in England in the
summer of 1066, when King Harold was ready and able to meet him? We'll
never know--King Harold and his army arrived at Hastings exhausted and
depleted, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Howarth approaches 1066 as if it were the stuff of a novel, and he has
been criticized for doing so. I don't know whether Howarth is
perfectly accurate, or whether his "spin" on the story is correct--but
the same can be said of the most boring and heavily footnoted history
that anyone cares to name. For those who enjoy history but also prize
elegant and engaging storytelling, this book is a joy to read.
Is Howarth's "spin" on 1066 accurate? At least William I The
Conqueror King of England,
my ancestor, won...
~Bret, scion of Charle de Magne
http://Back-stabbing Ancestral Descendants ASSoc.genealogy.medieval