...was the year, October 14th was the day, and Hastings was the battlefield William The Conqueror won after a whole day's fighting against Harold and his Saxon forces. He secured the shaky throne of England; reformed the Church; strengthened the country's defenses and ordered the survey that resulted in the Domesday Book. William, however, is not the only warrior on the beach here. The author has done an admirable job of keeping straight the many colorful figures who crowded that pivotal year, the events that led to it and its aftermath. The Norse sagas and the zestfully bloodthirsty accounts of the early historians have rendered up fascinating quotations that the author expands in a storyteller's style. The line drawings follow the continually encountered figures of the Bayeux tapestry. An excellent introduction to one of the most important, as well as the most confusing, times in English history.