1066: The Year of the Conquest, written by David Howarth, tells of one of the most important dates in the history of England. In 1066, William the Conqueror and William of Orange fought the historical Battle of Hastings. The outcome of this battle lead to many changes to the English people. The Norman people became assimilated into the English way of life. Howarth proceeds to tell the tale of the Battle of Hastings through the eyes on a common Englishman.
David Howarth's writing style is unique. He allows the story to develop on its own. The story flows and the events do not seem forced. The story reads like a historical novel and is easy to follow. Howarth presents his information fully and does not leave anything for the reader to question. The reader does not become confused or lost because of the way that the author reveals his information in the book.
Howarth use of sources throughout his book is a strong point that he uses. Howarth shows the different perspectives that have been viewed through history. He gives his own insights and tries to show the reader the different view points. History can be taken in many different ways and Howarth gives reasons and evidence to support his claims.
Within the reading of this book, one has to realize that most of the literature has very religious overtones that run rife throughout the most works of this time. Howarth makes a great attempt to not let this influence the way he brings forth the history of the time. Making sure he does not let this affect his judgment, he does a great job of citing lots of sources and scrutinizing all of these along the way. He makes sure his facts are as accurate as possible as well as...
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...y these are very minimal, and these are the only slight problems with the book.
In conclusion, I would encourage instructors or just people that are interested in medieval history to add 1066: The Year of the Conquest to their reading lists. The book is both interesting and academically sound, and it provides the reader with a unique opportunity to observe the process of everyday living during the medieval era. Howarth's sense of humanity sets this volume apart from other texts dealing with a similar subject. Though the Medieval times were a brutal, rife with fighting and torture, Howarth does not show these times to be as dark and mythic as some authors, he does try take one on a magical adventure though the 'dark ages', but rather a educative journey that offers insight and excitement, without the bias or opinionated point of view. A great book well worth the read.
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