First Line Friday is brought to you by Hoarding Books.
"Until quite recently, little attention has been paid by historians, blinded by the very fact of its success, to the process, after Hastings, by which William the Conqueror, made good his claim to the English throne against the will of the English."
I am so torn on how I feel about William the Bastard. Okay, not him specifically, as you can tell by my reference, but by the Normans conquering my dear Anglo-Saxons. I believe Harold was the rightful king chosen by the Witan, and any promises he made to William were clearly under duress. If only Harold had waited a little longer for reinforcements before marching from Stamford to Hastings; the whole of England's history would look a lot different.
But without the Norman kings, we would not have the Plantagenet dynasty, which began with the marriage of two very intelligent and highly motivated people, through whom the whole of Europe would become related as their eight children married into royal houses on the Continent. There's a reason, after all, that Eleanor of Aquitaine is referred to as the 'Grandmother of Europe'. Despite my love for the Anglo-Saxons, I can not imagine a world without Eleanor taking center stage.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think.