‘1066’ Book Review

1066: A Information to the Battles and the Campaigns, by Michael Livingston and Kelly DeVries, Pen and Sword Navy, Barnsley, U.Ok., $24.95

American army historians Michael Livingston and Kelly DeVries current a lavishly illustrated and authoritatively written guidebook detailing the battles and campaigns of probably the most decisive yr in British historical past. Drawn from a sequence of Medieval Warfare journal articles revealed in 2017, 1066 is supported by a compact bibliographic essay, an intensive index, six maps and 107 illustrations. These final embrace on-site photographs taken by the authors in addition to 32 photographs from the Bayeux Tapestry (actually an embroidery), the 230-foot-long eleventh century epic scroll that depicts the Norman conquest, culminating with the Battle of Hastings.

Following an introductory chapter on the historical past of Anglo-Saxon England, the 5 chapters relate the course of the 1066 marketing campaign with narrative textual content and a associated tour itinerary. The excursions assist the theme of every chapter, beginning with Norman websites related to William the Conqueror (together with Falaise and Caen) and persevering with to locations tied to English traitor (and brother to King Harald Godwinson) Tostig, who led the Norwegian Vikings to their monumental defeat at Stamford Bridge outdoors York. Subsequent comply with the Norman touchdown web site on the southern English coast at Pevensey, close by Hastings battlefield and Battle Abbey, and, lastly, William’s victorious march by way of Dover to London, culminating along with his coronation on Christmas Day. All through textual content blocks handle such interval matters as “consanguinity” and “oath-breaking.”

The authors argue that previous to Hastings, probably the most well-known battle in English historical past was the largely forgotten triumph of King Athelstan over the Vikings, Scots and Britons at Brunanburh in 937, noting that the latter was fought for the existential survival of England whereas the previous was an act of political vengeance that ended it. In addition they look at the overshadowed victory at Stamford Bridge that September, the place the combatant armies (numbering some 13,000 every) have been twice the dimensions of these at Hastings a month later. Regardless of minor errors, equivalent to misdating the reign of Kings Alfred the Nice and Ethelred the Unready, this well-designed ebook is a pleasant addition to the physique of literature on the Norman conquest.

—William John Shepherd

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