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While the date 1066 is familiar to almost everybody as the year of the Norman conquest of England, few can place the event in the context of the dramatic year in which it took place. In this book, David Howarth attempts to bring alive the struggle for the succession to the English crown from the death of Edward the Confessor in January 1066 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 the Battle of Hastings.
An account of the year's events in England, from the death of Edward the Confessor, through the struggle for succession, to the Christmas coronation of William of Normandy, focuses on the Norman invasion and the Battle of Hastings
From its south-eastern tip Sussex is little more than sixty miles from continental Europe and the countys coastline, some seventy-six miles long, occupies a large part of Britains southern frontier. Before the days of Macadam and the Turnpike, water travel could prove more certain than land transportation and the seas that define the borders of our nation aided, rather than deterred, the invader.
If ever there was a year of destiny for the British Isles, 1066 must have a strong claim. King Harold faced invasion not just from William and the Normans across the English Channel but from the Dane, King Harald Hardrada. Before he faced the Normans at Hastings in October, he had defeated the Danes at York and Stamford Bridge in September. In this superbly researched study, Frank McLynn overturns long-accepted myths, showing how William's victory at the Battle of Hastings was not, in fact, a certainty, and arguing that Harald Hardrada was actually the greatest warrior of the three. This is a masterly study, and reveals the truth to be more interesting than the myths surrounding this pivotal year in history.

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