A radical retelling of the most important event in English history - the Norman invasion of 1066. The Norman Conquest is the single most important event in English history. On this invasion and 'regime change' pivoted the second millennium of English history. This is well recognised, what is not is how long and hard the English people fought to deny William 'the Bastard', Duke of Normandy his prize. Rather than being the smooth transition peddled by pro-Norman historians, the Norman Conquest was a brutal and violent takeover by an army of occupation. Unknown thousands of rebellious thegns resisted the Norman regime, the most famous being Hereward, but there were plenty of willing collaborators among England's clergy, who pushed for William to be crowned king. In return he let them retain their sees and abbacies, as well as the vast tracts of land. Peter Rex tells the whole story of the Conquest of England by the Normans from its genesis in the deathbed decision of King Edward the Confessor in January 1066 to recommend Harold Godwinson as his successor, to the crushing of the last flickers of English resistance in June 1076.
Peter Rex is a retired history teacher. He was Head of History at Princethorpe College for twenty years. His other books include WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR: THE BASTARD OF NORMANDY ('Portrays William as he really was - a bloody, ruthless war criminal' FRANK MCLYNN), THE ENGLISH RESISTANCE ('An invaluable rehabilitation of an ignored resistance movement' THE SUNDAY TIMES), HAROLD II ('Rex's powerful defense of Harold is refreshing' THE DAILY MAIL, 'A learned new biography' THE FINANCIAL TIMES) and HEREWARD ('An enthralling work of historical detection' ROBERT LACEY, 'Like oakum from a knotted rope of legend, Rex picks out the facts of his life' THE TIMES, 'Rescues Hereward, a genuine folk hero, from the oblivion into which he has fallen' FRANK MCLYNN). He lives in Ely.
Introduction Prologue: The Death of King Edward 1. The Norman D-Day: Dawn, Thursday 28 September 1066 2. A Disputed Coronation: Saturday 6 January to 1 May 1066 3. Feints & Diversions: Monday 1 May to Wednesday 27 September 1066 4. The Thunderbolt From the North: Saturday 12 August to Friday 13 October 1066 5. The War Between Duke William & Harold, King of the English: Friday 13 October to Sunday 15 October 1066 6. From Victory to Kingship: Sunday 15 October to Wednesday 25 December 1066 7. King William Has His Triumph & England Rebels: January to December 1067 8. The First Stirrings of Revolt: February to December 1068 9. The North in Flames: Christmas 1068 to Winter 1069/70 10. The Harrying of the North: February to December 1070 11. Hereward Defies the Conqueror But Ely is Betrayed: Lent 1070 to Autumn 1071 12. The Normanization of England Begins: Autumn 1071 to December 1074 13. King William Deals With Scotland 14. The Revolt of the Earls: January 1075 to December 1076 Epilogue Appendix 1 The English Succession Appendix 2 A Note on Castles Appendix 3 The Battlefield of Hastings Appendix 4 Earl Harold in Normandy Appendix 5 Hereward Appendix 6 The Bayeux Tapestry Notes Bibliography List of Illustrations Index