English Collusion and the Norman Conquest (Hardback)
The reality of war, in any period, is its totality. Warfare affects everyone in a society. Here, for the first time, is a comprehensive analysis of eleventh century warfare as exposed in the record of the Norman Conquest of England. King William I experienced a lifetime of conflict on and off so many battlefields. In English Collusion and the Norman Conquest, Arthur Wright’s second book on the Norman Conquest, he argues that this monarch has received an undeserved reputation bestowed on him by clerics ignorant alike of warfare, politics, economics and of the secular world, men writing half a century after events reported to them by doubtful sources. How much of this popular legend was actually created by an avaricious Church?
Was he just a lucky, brutal soldier, or was he instead a gifted English King who could meld cultures and talents? This is a tale of blood, deceit, ambition and power politics which pieces together the self-interested distortion of events, brutalising conflict and superb strategic acumen by using and analysing contemporary evidence the like of which is not to be found elsewhere in Europe.
By 1072 King William should have been secure upon the English throne, so what went wrong? How did a Norman Duke and a few thousand mercenaries take and hold such a wealthy and populous Kingdom? Even in the ‘Harrowing of the North’, which probably saw the death of tens of thousands, who was really to blame and why did it happen?
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Dawn Lewis
I really enjoyed this book for the simple fact that it has given me another way of thinking about the Norman Conquest. "English Collusion and the Norman Conquest" is well-written and interesting, but it leaves plenty for your imagination - which is something that I hadn't expected, but it worked for me! I would like to read more by this author - particularly on the same subject.
The story of the Norman Conquest and the Battle of Hastings as shown in the Bayeux Tapestry is arguably the most widely-known in the entire panoply of English history, and over the last 200 years there have been hundreds of books portraying the Tapestry and seeking to analyse its meanings. Yet, there is one aspect of the embroidery that has been virtually ignored or dismissed as unimportant by historians – the details in the margins. Yet the fables shown in the margins are not just part of a decorative ribbon, neither are they discontinuous, but in fact follow-on in sequence. When this is understood,…By Arthur C Wright
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