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Goodreads Author Zone > Looking for good William the Conqueror source material

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message 1: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Willis | 73 comments Morning everyone. I'm starting to research a novel on William the Conqueror for a commission, and I thought I'd ask if anyone here knew of any particularly good sources on William. I'm aware of several biographies that seem to be widely accepted as the best of the bunch, but does anyone have any experience of reading any of them, and which would you recommend? What books on, say, the Battle of Hastings, are the most detailed? Are there any more generic books about the Normans, say, or 11th century society/warfare that you'd recommend? Thanks in advance


message 2: by Hamid (new)

Hamid Karima | 41 comments Hi, there are some books about Normans Kingdom as below that most are about William. Also Edward Marston has written many books about William. I write about them here .you can choose some to read. Of course for research you don't need to read and refer to all of a book but only some part of them.
James Aitcheson, Sworn Sword (2011), about a Norman knight who narrowly escapes being slain in a Saxon uprising in 1069 and discovers a plot that could undermine the Conquest; #1 in the Sworn Sword series.

James Aitcheson, The Splintered Kingdom (2012), about a Norman knight who participates in King Williams's "Harrying of the North" campaign; #2 in the Sworn Sword series.

James Aitcheson, Knights of the Hawk (2013), about a Norman soldier who, several years after the Battle of Hastings, is part of the struggle to subdue the Saxons rebelling against Norman rule; #3 in the Sworn Sword series.

Peter Benson, Odo's Hanging (1993), about Bishop Odo, the half-brother of William the Conqueror, and the creation of the Bayeux Tapestry in the years after the Conquest. Review at The Independent

Elizabeth Chadwick, The Winter Mantle (2002), about the niece of William the Conqueror and the Saxon-English earl she married.

Elizabeth Chadwick, Shadows and Strongholds (2004), a coming-of-age story about a boy in Norman England learning the arts of knighthood; prequel to Lords of the White Castle.

Katherine Deauxville, Blood Red Roses (1991), historical romance about a knight and his unwilling bride, the widow of a man hanged for treason, during the reign of William the Conqueror.

Alexandre Dumas, père, Robin, Prince of Outlaws (1863), a Robin Hood tale.

Juliet Dymoke, Of the Ring of Earls (1970), about Earl Waltheof, one of the rare Anglo-Saxon lords who kept his title after the Norman Conquest, and who married a niece of William the Conqueror; #1 in the Norman Kings trilogy.

Juliet Dymoke, Henry of the High Rock (1971), about Henry Beauclerc, the youngest son of William I, who became King Henry I of England; #2 in the Norman Kings trilogy.

Juliet Dymoke, The Lion's Legacy (1974), about Brien FitzCount, a supporter of Empress Maud during her struggle against King Stephen for England's crown; #3 in the Norman Kings trilogy.

Parke Godwin, A Memory of Lions (1976), a tragic love story about a Norman woman and a Saxon man in the years following the Norman Conquest.

Parke Godwin, Sherwood (1991), a retelling of the legend of Robin Hood in a realistic historical setting during the time of William the Conqueror.

Parke Godwin, Robin and the King (1993), about Robin Hood in middle age; set during the reign of William I; sequel to Sherwood.

J. Tullos Hennig, Greenwode (2013), a novel which reinterprets the Robin Hood legend as a tale of a young man devoted to the Old Religion who hopes to become the lover of a young Catholic man a druid has foretold will be his enemy.

Richard Kluger, The Sheriff of Nottingham (1992), a sympathetic portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham and his efforts to snare the outlaw Robin Hood.

John Wright, The Healer (2008), about two men, one a Norman, the other a Saxon, who return to England in 1066 after a sojourn in Asia; self-published.

John Wright, 1066 Knight Haralde (2010), about two men from a Silk Road kingdom and three Marcher lords in Wales as King William tries to bring it under his control; sequel to The Healer; self-published.

Edward Marston, The Wolves of Savernake (1993), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #1 in the Domesday Books series.

Edward Marston, The Ravens of Blackwater (1994), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #2 in the Domesday Books series.

Edward Marston, The Dragons of Archenfield (1995), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #3 in the Domesday Books series.

Edward Marston, The Lions of the North (1996), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #4 in the Domesday Books series.

Edward Marston, The Serpents of Harbledown (1996), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #5 in the Domesday Books series.

Edward Marston, The Stallions of Woodstock (1997), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #6 in the Domesday Books series.

Edward Marston, The Hawks of Delamere (1998), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #7 in the Domesday Books series.

Edward Marston, The Wildcats of Exeter (1998), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #8 in the Domesday Books series.

Edward Marston, The Foxes of Warwick (1999), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #9 in the Domesday Books series.

Edward Marston, The Owls of Gloucester (2000), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #10 in the Domesday Books series.

Edward Marston, The Elephants of Norwich (2000), a team of King William's commissioners investigate "irregularities" uncovered during the compilation of the Domesday Book; #11 in the Domesday Books series.


message 3: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Willis | 73 comments That's brilliant Hamid, thankyou so much for your prompt and thorough response. I knew it was a good idea to post here


message 4: by Steven (last edited Aug 12, 2015 04:38AM) (new)

Steven Malone | 165 comments Here's a couple of nonfiction sources:
William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact Upon England by David C. Douglas

and

The Norman Conquest (Documents of Medieval History 5) by R. Allen Brown

A third that may give you some good info is:

Normandy Before 1066 by David Bates

Good luck.


message 5: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Willis | 73 comments Thankyou Steven, very much obliged to you


message 6: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Bennett | 87 comments Another non-fiction source that I found very instructive was The Norman Conquest by Marc Morris.


message 7: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Willis | 73 comments That looks just the ticket, thanks Jerry


message 8: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Prescott (victoria_prescott) If you want contemporary sources, you could try the Anglo Saxon Chronicle and the chronicle of Orderic Vitalis. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle was written in Anglo Saxon/Old English and Orderic wrote in Latin, but there are modern English translations available online. Although I do recommend having a look at the original Old English version of the ASC too, just to get a feel for it.


message 9: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Crampton (cramptonmargaret) | 8026 comments What about for fun 1066 and all
That



message 10: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Prescott (victoria_prescott) Margaret wrote: "What about for fun 1066 and all That"

'The Norman Conquest was a Good Thing' - and also a memorable date!


message 11: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 616 comments Margaret wrote: "What about for fun 1066 and all That"

I’d forgotten about that book—thanks for reminding me! A classic.


message 12: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Willis | 73 comments How could I have missed 'and all that'? Superb. And thanks for the primary source suggestions, much appreciated


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