THE NORMAN CONQUEST: Its Setting and Impact by

THE NORMAN CONQUEST: Its Setting and Impact

Email this review


After the spate of books on 1066 one is tempted to wonder what one more book can contribute. The present volume, initiated as a part of the commemoration of the Battle of Hastings by the Battle and District Historical Society, remains apart from the rest in its quiet scholarly approach to the action, 1066 style. Three eminent professors and the society president contribute studies in their special fields. Dorothy Whitelock summarizes the Anglo Saxon achievement to the time of conquest--from 954 England had been a united kingdom with laws William found little to change in (""He also had little reason to be discontented with the royal rights held by his predecessors""). David C. Douglas describes William the Conqueror as Duke and King, pursuing the theory that what William had accomplished as the latter was related to his earlier achievements as the former, and characterizing the Conqueror thus: ""Ruthless in war, he was not a bloodthirsty brute. Strong in rule, he was not a tyrant."" Charles H. Lemmon analyzes the Battle from preliminaries in Normandy to Christmas, 1066, when William was crowned King of the English (""and his descendant, in the twenty-ninth generation, who is also descended from the Saxon kings, sits on the throne today""). Frank Barlow assesses the effect of the Norman Conquest, (the great series of enfeoffments were ""a unique event which had unique results""), as reenforced by the Angevin ""conquest"" of 1154. C.T. Chevallier in his introduction fills in on the background and quality of Harold and on the Bayeux Tapestry. Solid supplementary reading.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1966
Publisher: Scribners