Everyone knows 1066 as the date of the Norman invasion and conquest of England. But how many of us can place that event in the context of the entire dramatic year in which it took place? From the death of Edward the Confessor in early January to the Christmas coronation of Duke William of Normandy, there is an almost uncanny symmetry, as well as a relentlessly exciting surge, of events leading to and from Hastings.
David Howarth’s 1066: The Year of the Conquest is a succinct, thorough exploration of a tumultuous year that shaped European history.
Howarth does a stellar job of making history readable and gripping. His recounting of the pivotal events that changed the course of England is as opinionated as it is thoughtfully researched. Fascinating and detailed, Howarth gives the reader insight into the daily culture, politics, and war practices of all parties involved in that fateful year: Viking, Norman, and Anglo.
Howarth has taken a timeframe that most know only by a single event—the Battle of Hastings—and given us the historical arc of events that unfolded throughout the year. He makes us anticipate the outcome, even though we already have foreknowledge of how everything unfolds, and he makes us root for the king we know will eventually be defeated. Howarth has given the reader a history to be enjoyed and reread in 1066: The Year of the Conquest.