THE MAKING OF THE KING: 1066 by Alan Lloyd


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The second book seen here, devoted to a historical event of 900 years standing, again surveys the field at Hastings and the actions which led to the battle there. Alan Lloyd's is the more readable of the two, being less chockablock with names and subsidiary skirmishes, more aware of personalities and the life of the times, while Eric Linklater's Conquest of England searched farther back in history for a more far-ranging view (see p. 163, 1966). Lloyd concentrates on the three men who met in battle in 1066. When Edwrd the Confessor died, Harold Godwinson had behind him thirteen years of political dexterity and he secured its reward, taking the throne. Harald of Norway had ruled his nation for twenty years; William the Conqueror, who had made a peaceful state visit to Edward, was in full command of Normandy. Harald, advised by Harold's brother, invaded York and met his death there at the hands of Harold's men. William, taking advantage of the exhaustion of the victors and their absence in the North, invaded the South. He met Harold at Hastings and with that king's death took the throne of England. Lloyd has taken pains to reveal the protagonists and the period. He does not make a case for William as did Linklater, preferring to refrain from judgments other than those of character. He manages to present an abundance of material at an unhurried pace; his details-- of the social systems of the nations, the type of weaponry used, the ultimate battle--add scope and interest beyond the story of the men. A good job. Sources.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1966
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston