THE ENIGMA OF HASTINGS by Edwin Tetlow

THE ENIGMA OF HASTINGS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Tetlow emphasizes that most of what we know about the Norman invasion of England under William The Conqueror comes from Anglo-Norman propagandists and apologists bent on justifying William's usurpation after the fact. True enough, but Tetlow offers little by way of positive correction. He reminds us that neither William the winner, nor Harold the loser at Hastings had any legitimate claim to the English throne; he reenacts the famous Battle of Stamford Bridge where Harold repelled the Norwegian invaders to temporarily save his tottering crown. He notes that the use of archers in close conjunction with infantry and cavalry at Hastings was a ""revolutionary"" tactic and probably decisive in The Conqueror's victory. And he vividly recreates the plotting both in England and Normandy which followed the death of the unkingly Edward the Confessor. But the enigma of Hastings -- what actually happened on the battlefield and why William met so little further resistance -- remains. Tetlow, a journalist, says in his preface that he has devoted almost 50 years of study and research to his subject and his involvement with the principal personalities is intense. History buffs may share his fascination but there's little in his diligent reportage to entice anyone else.

Pub Date: July 29th, 1974
ISBN: 1594160643
Publisher: St. Martin's Press