15 September 2018

New Book Review ~ The Norman Conquest: William the Conqueror's Subjugation of England, by Teresa Cole

New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

One of the main historical dates most people can tell you is that the Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066 - and King Harold was killed by an arrow in the eye by William the Conqueror.

In this thought provoking new book Teresa Cole points out that over nine centuries later it's time to take a fresh look again at all the evidence - and the outcomes of the Norman Conquest of England. Most importantly, it is essential to examine the context for the account represented in the Bayeux tapestry.

I remember going on a school trip to see the tapestry as a child, and recall the 'comet with long hair' which Harold saw as an omen of doom. (ISTI MIRANT STELLA - These [people] look in wonder at the star). Teresa Cole points out that this was probably an appearance of Halley's comet - and it was visible at Easter 1066, not October, when William invaded (a detail ignored by the tapestry makers, who had the benefit of hindsight.)

This engaging book is packed with details and narrated in a lively style:
William the Bastard they called him, although probably not to his face. A strictly accurate description but not necessarily a term of endearment. In fact, there were not many who really loved William of Normandy - his wife, probably, and his inner circle of trusted friends. Even his children seemed to have mixed feelings.
I particularly liked Teresa Cole's chapter on 'The winners and losers of 1066: A Personal View'. Whatever they thought of him, William's victory removed at a stroke not only the King but every noble lord of note, transforming the future of England forever. He then proceeded, with the 'Doomsday Book', to note everything of value and share it between his followers.

Was Harold was killed by an arrow in the eye? All I can say is that there is an intriguing twist to King Harold's story, and you'll have to read the book to find out. Highly recommended. 

Tony Riches

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About the Author

Teresa Cole has been a teacher for thirty years. She has written several law books and a historical biography by Amberley, 'Henry V: The Life of the Warrior King & the Battle of Agincourt 1415' She lives just outside Bath, UK.

Disclosure: A review copy of this book was kindly provided by 
Amberley Publishing

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