Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “1066 Turned Upside Down” as Want to Read:
1066 Turned Upside Down
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

1066 Turned Upside Down

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Ever wondered what might have happened if William the Conqueror had been beaten at Hastings? Or if Harald Hardrada had won at Stamford Bridge? Or if Edward the Confessor had died with an heir ready to take his place? Then here is the perfect set of stories for you. ‘1066 Turned Upside Down’ explores a variety of ways in which the momentous year of 1066 could have played ou ...more
Kindle Edition, 197 pages
Published August 1st 2016 by Matador
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  116 ratings  ·  34 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of 1066 Turned Upside Down
Aug 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

It’s unusual for me to spend a month reading a book, but that’s how long I spent working my way through 1066 Turned Upside Down. I’d looked forward to the book, I’d even pre-ordered a copy ahead of the release, but I have to admit that the reality of the volume left me with mixed feelings.

To be fair, most of the month I spent with 1066 Turned Upside Down was dedicated to not reading it. I devoured the first story the day the
David Baird
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a brilliant book this was. I just love the idea that the authors have taken a period in time and let their creative juices flow. 1066 is a fascinating period to read about and to have these authors explore the “what if” was refreshing

I’m a big fan of collections like this, I find then fun to read. Not only do they flow easily since they are self-contained short stories but you also get introduced to some authors you might not previously have heard of. I’ll admit I’ve only read books be thre
It appears that another group of authors has attempted to do what the H Team has done in compiling short stories from each author on a major event in history, except this group is doing it with an alternate history twist. These short stories explore how things would have gone down in 1066 England if Edgar was crowned instead of Harold, or if William of Normandy had lost at Hastings, and several other "what if" speculations.

It also differs from the H Team's books because these are truly individua
Sarah -  All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
I'm almost sad to be done with this one. 950 years ago, nearly to the month (October), a terrible thing happened to England. Yet here, in these stories and for a time, we can ponder the what-ifs. It's just about the only time in history I care to do so. Would the country I love so dearly look the same. Unequivocally, no. But it is still fun to imagine.

Full review to come.



1066 was a pivotal year for England: it brought the death of two kings and end of Anglo-Saxon rule, the Battle of Hastings, and the Norman Conquest.

‘1066 Turned Upside Down’ is an excellent collection of speculative historical fiction, presenting some very enjoyable reading and some really thought-provoking alternative histories.

As a collection, the quality of the writing is exceptional and the variety of possible outcomes presented is truly fascinating. My personal favourites a
I admit that I imprinted on Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe as a child. When I grew older, I studied history. So I knew very well that 12th century England wasn't really a Norman vs. Saxon world as portrayed in Ivanhoe. Yet I also knew that William the Conqueror had imposed European feudalism on England which was a considerably more oppressive system than the Saxon Witan mentioned in the anthology that is the subject of this review, 1066 Turned Upside Down.

Because of the background described above, I
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. Twelve richly imagined stories of 1066, varying in tone and viewpoint. I liked that each story (set in a particular month of that year) was prefaced with a description of the true events that took place. Warmly recommended if you like Alternative History and/or that period in particular.
Ellen Ekstrom
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy revisionist historical fiction, then this is your next read. I enjoyed each of the stories, and will add this to my "Yep, I'll Read it Again" shelf. Each of the authors have written something on the events of 1066 or the period, and gave their own spin on the events. I particularly enjoyed the chronology and introductions to each of the stories. If I had to pick a favorite, though, it would be Holloway's story of the Battle on London Bridge.
Marsha Lambert
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
1066 Turned Upside Down is a collaboration between nine historical fiction authors each bringing their own spin on an alternative happening of that fateful year in England's history, 1066. The nine authors are Joanna Courtney, Helen Hollick, Anna Belfrage, Richard Dee, G.K. Holloway, Carol McGrath, Alison Morton, Eliza Redgold, and Annie Whitehead.

Each month of that tumultuous year is featured with the subjects covering such momentous occasions as King Edward the Confessor dying and King Harold
1066 Turned Upside Down is a collection of short stories giving alternate endings to the Battle Hastings and other events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. The stories are sequential with each story taking on events on a different month of the year.

Helen Hollick:

The first book I read about this event was Morgan Llewellyn's The Wind from Hastings, but it was many years later that I got hooked on the era with Helen Hollick's Forever Queen and I am the Chosen King. She had two stories
Inge Borg
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Superb Collaboration

This interesting alternative history of England’s tumultuous year 1066 is a collaboration of nine authors, each a successful writer of his/her own historical fiction novels: Joanna Courtney, Helen Hollick, Anna Belfrage, Richard Dee, G.K. Holloway, Carol McGrath, Alison Morton, Eliza Redgold, and Annie Whitehead.
In 1066 Turned Upside Down, each writer envisions a fascinating “what if” version about that fateful year in England's history. And with each outcome, modern man wo
Steve Majerus-Collins
Jul 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels
I tend to love these what-could-have-happened books about history. I just like the idea, which happens to be true, that history turns on the smallest things sometimes, and that what actually happened could easily have turned very differently. There's a lot to be said for luck and the impact of decisions that people make, deliberately and by happenstance. So fake history is kind of fun. What if Eisenhower's weather forecast had been botched on D-Day? What if the JFK had happened to duck? What if ...more
Richard Howard
Mar 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020
I was expecting more from this anthology: in particular I was hoping for more extensive alternative history, which examined the future of England had William the Bastard not won The Battle of Hastings. These stories mostly focus on the actual battle with nothing much about what an 'English' England would have been like without the Norman conquest. Only 'Emperor of the North' examines this and then only fleetingly. 'If You Changed One Thing' is a rather trite time-travel story that doesn't follow ...more
Roland Clarke
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
As a history addict, I’ve been fascinated by alternative histories for decades so when I saw this collection was being released, I had to read it. However, I delayed delving into this until my own alternative history had evolved. I was not disappointed with any of these tales as they all took different approaches and in their own styles.

In most cases, the characters were based on the historical records, although those sometimes disagree so there was room for subtle variations – as well as believ
Miles Atkinson
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an extremely enjoyable collection of counter-factual histories surrounding what's arguably the most critical date in English history. Some are rather more believable than others - for example the Norse assassination team sent to kill Duke William stretches credibility almost to breaking point. Others have a more believable point of departure. For example, in reality the Norse army at Stamford Bridge was caught out by Harold Godwinson's fast marching army and surprised whilst sunbathing ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories exploring several ways that 1066 could have turned out differently for England. Not only if Harold Godwinson hadn't been shot in the eye with an arrow on October 14. If he had waited for his Northern reinforcements before engaging, if William had been routed at sea in the crossing, if the Norwegians had beaten him in the earlier battle.... All interesting to contemplate. And I have discovered some new authors, in addition to reading some familiar ...more
D J Rout
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it

The stories, except for Anne Morton's, show plausible alterations to history, but only one explores the world created when 2066 is turned upside down. They are readable but don't have huge literary flsir. This is a book you can kill a bit of time with, but it won't Rick your world.
3.5 stars. Really interesting. I wish some of the stories were longer
Robert Tostevin
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blogged
5 stars - no question.

Fascinating vignettes of what might have been if the fickle currents of time had been subtlety altered to give us a significantly different outcome to that epoch defining year of 1066.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
I gave this up after less than 100 pages... it was truly awful.

I love this period of history, but detested this book with a passion.
Tricia Preston
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Such Fun!
I love my historical fiction, being particularly partial to Arthurian Legend, Bernicia, Robin Hood, the Wars of the Roses and, of course 1066. The authors who write these wonderful books are all committed to carrying out extensive research to weave the known facts into their works and in 2016, the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings et al, what could be better than letting their imaginative juices flow in a 'what if' scenario in this pivotal year in English History, especially b
Angelica Bentley
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An ARC of this book was offered to me for review purposes. What a very unusual concept. History was never my first love in school, and our Italian curriculum focussed on the ancient Greeks and Romans, so I came to this with a completely open mind and no recent memory of the events that made 1066 such a pivotal year for the fortunes of what is now known as Britain, and consequently for the rest of Europe. Britain and France have a lot of shared links, conflict and alliances. In the year 1066, whe ...more
Jo Barton
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm fascinated by historical fiction written by authors who wade way through dusty history books and ponder long into the night about the minutiae of the lives, and times, of historical figures, always maintaining historical accuracy, so that no-on can ever accuse them of changing, or of rearranging history. It must be a temptation though, on occasion, to have the opportunity to rearrange events to give a voice to that little mischievous murmur that whispers ever so softly… what would have happe ...more
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This volume is a collection of short stories by nine well-known authors that all concern the same theme – the intriguing ‘What if?’ of the events of 1066.

1066 has been declared one of the two memorable dates in English history and we all know what happened in the October of that year. This volume not only explores what else of great significance happened that same momentous year, but each story examines what might have been.

As a student of the Norman Conquest, I am well versed in the histories t
This is a selection of short 'what if...' stories dealing with the one date every British schoolchild learns - 1066.

History tells us that the Norman Conquest was a success. These stories look at alternative versions. What if Harold Godwinson had won the Battle of Hastings? What if Harald Hardrada had lost at the Battle of Fulford or won the Battle of Stamford Bridge? What it William hadn't been able to take London? What if William the Conqueror hadn't even made it out of Normandy? There's even
Julia Ibbotson
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent set of short stories reflecting an alternative history around 1066 the Battle of Hastings. I love "what if"s and these were really thought-provoking. I especially enjoyed Carl McGrath's The Dragon-tailed Star about Halley's Comet, focusing on Thea, the daughter of King Harold and his common-law wife Edith Swan-neck who was dismissed in favour of a new political alliance with Aldgyth in order to ally with the lords in the north; and loved Alison Morton's A Roman Intervenes, featuring th ...more
Anne Harvey
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The premise of this anthology intrigued me enough to buy it. The various authors have all looked at the events leading up to, and after, the Battle of Hastings, using an alternative take on those events. What would have happened, for instance, if Harold Godwinson hadn’t become King? Or if all Duke William’s ships had been burned before they ventured on to the Narrow Sea? Or perhaps someone went backwards in time to change events? (Loved the twist in the tale in this one!) Or if the Bayeux Tapest ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
This e-book is a series of short fictions, by various authors, each based on alternative history outcomes for the events of 1066. The stories were rather variable in quality (the 'Roman' one was particularly silly), and between them they only threw up one good idea (that Harold Godwinsson sent the fyrd home and stopped watching for the Normans because he believed that William's excursion to Dives in a storm had finished his invasion prospects).

I am keen on both alternative history and 1066, so s
Helen Baggott
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
All good fiction begins with a ‘what if?’ and these writers have certainly embraced that idea. Who hasn’t thought, ‘if only that had happened’ – even if about a washed out picnic, a road not taken – one moment that changes all.
In history – important history that still affects our lives – how might things be changed?
If you enjoy history and adore good writing, this collection will entertain – and make you think, just for a moment, what if…?
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
A book consisting of alternate short stories of "what ifs". A really different idea that works well, and the different authors are to be congratulated on their imaginations about the time around 1066.
I liked some stories more than others, but on the whole it's an enjoyable book. I can definitely recommend reading it if you'd like to see another version of history.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Pull of the Stars
  • I Am the Chosen King (Saxon #1)
  • Le jardin du bonheur
  • The Colour of Shadows (Sebastian Foxley Medieval Mystery #5)
  • Bushes & Briars: The Savernake Novels Book X1
  • L’Atelier de Marie-Claire
  • La Dictatrice
  • Wine of Violence (Medieval Mystery, #1)
  • Les fleurs de la mer Egée (Les Fleurs de la mer Egée, #1)
  • Aria: The Masterpiece Volume 1
  • The O. Henry Prize Stories 2018
  • Worlds of Wonder: How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Mussolini's Arctic Airship (Kindle Single)
  • The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells
  • Dictator (Cicero, #3)
  • The fantasy fiction formula
  • Calico Joe
  • The Death Collector: A Victorian Murder Mystery
See similar books…
My first literary accolade was a creative writing prize at primary school and from that point on I wanted to be a novelist. I was always reading as a child and often made up stories for my brother and sister on long car journeys. I was also a huge Enid Blyton fan and by ten I was writing my own (doubtless terrible) boarding school novels. Perhaps inevitably, I took my degree in English literature ...more

Related Articles

If you love the fantasy genre, this is the season for you! Some of the biggest books out this fall promise to be epics full of magic, adventure,...
148 likes · 33 comments