A short, straightforward historical narrative, moving through the fateful year of 1066 in England.
From the bookjacket: Drawing brilliantly on the wealth of contemporary sources, Howarth gives us memorable portraits of the leading characters and their motivations. At the same time, he makes us see the story from the common Englishman's point of view, telling us how he lived, worked, fought and died - and how he perceived from his isolated shire the overthrow of his world.
This book discusses the events leading up to the battle of 1066 and then the concequences that followed the battle. I am not a history buff but this book really kept me interested, definately not your typical history book.
A description of the year England fell to the William the Norman Conqueror. He brings the life in England and in Normandy to life very well. At the end he does a nice job of describing how something that had been steady for generations was suddenly changed. I was impressed at his ability to draw in references (and do so clearly) without disrupting the flow of the narrative. I like knowing where the details are coming from, what's author's conjecture, but I also like it well interwoven. Howarth manages that well.
I was not that familiar with English history and I had no problem following along. The Viking raid I had never heard of and it was nice to have it be more than a footnote. My main complaint with the book is knowing how it ended and having it end that way. Were it fiction it would never end that way!
This was very well written and researched book. I read it over the course of a year. (2011, 945 years after the battle.) It opened my eyes to many things that took place during that momentus year.
A fascinating look at how perilous our fragile nation was in its beginning. The direct quotes of that era took some interpretation to comprehend, given how English has evolved since then. )I tended to skip over them about half way through the book.) Also, I was expecting to read more about the finish of the war, but this book is literally about the one year of its title.
Accounts of Washington in his later years are not too flattering, so it was great to read what a leader he was during his prime.