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The Conqueror’s Christmas by David Churchill

Posted on: 01/12/2016 with tags: Charlemagne, christmas, david churchill, devil, duke, william the conqueror, Medieval

Two great empire builders were crowned on Christmas Day. The first, in the year 800, was Charlemagne. He liked to claim that it had happened by accident. He’d popped into St Peter’s Basilica in Rome for Christmas Mass, knelt down at the altar to pray and the next thing he knew, Pope Leo II was placing the crown of the Roman Empire on his head and calling him Emperor. It seems less than entirely credible that one of the greatest rulers in all European history could have received his mightiest tit…

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Lady Godiva by David Churchill

Posted on: 01/11/2016 with tags: author blog, david churchill, English History, historical fiction, Lady Godiva, william the conqueror, Medieval

One of the delights of writing the Leopards of Normandy series has been the entirely unexpected discoveries that I’ve bumped into along the way. I had no idea, for example, that the Lady Godiva, who, famously, though perhaps not factually, rode naked through the streets of Coventry, was actually a Saxon noblewoman called Godgifu, whose life overlapped with that of William the Conqueror. I was equally unaware that the Coventry through which she allegedly rode was not the bustling medieval cathedr…

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Ghost Ships and the End of the World by Karen Maitland

Posted on: 31/10/2016 with tags: Ghost Ships, halloween, karen maitland, Middle Ages, The Plague Charmer, vikings, Medieval, Middle Ages

Since ancient times, the sea has meant life for coastal communities of the British Isles, providing food, salt and even driftwood for building our homes and heating them. But we always have feared the sea too, not just for its own destructive power, but for the ships that sail on it bringing bloodthirsty pirates and warriors like the Saxons and Vikings to loot, rape and slaughter. But many of these early invaders settled and their mythology became part of our folklore which continues even to thi…

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The Norman Conquest in Numbers by James Aitcheson

Posted on: 14/10/2016 with tags: author blog, English History, historical crime, historical fiction, Medieval, medieval england, medieval history, The Norman Conquest, Asian History, Medieval, Norman

This month marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings: the beginning of the Norman Conquest of England, and perhaps the single most famous event in all of British history. The battle, which took place on 14 October 1066, saw King Harold II killed and his English army defeated by Duke William of Normandy, who shortly afterwards was himself crowned king, ushering in a new French-speaking ruling dynasty and altering England’s destiny forever. 7,000 Estimated size both of Harold’s army an…

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