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One of the few dates from medieval British history still firmly fixed in the popular memory is 1066. The end of Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest are still viewed as major events - England's forcible first 'entry into Europe'. Taking a similar approach to his successful book If Rome Hadn't Fallen, Timothy Venning explores the various decision points in a fascinating period of British history and the alternative paths that it might have taken.
Starting with an outline of the process by which much of Britain came to be settled by Germanic tribes after the end of Roman rule, this fascinating alternative history then moves on to examine a series of scenarios which might have altered the course of subsequent events dramatically. Theories explored include: was a reconquest by the native British ever a possibility? Which of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might have united England sooner and would this have kept the Danes out? And, of course, what if Harold Godwinson had won at Hastings? Whilst necessarily speculative, all scenarios are discussed within the framework of a deep understanding of the major driving forces that shaped British history and help to shed new light on them. In doing so, this remarkable book helps the reader to understand why things happened the way they did, and also paints a vivid picture of what might have been.
Dr Timothy Venning is a freelance researcher and author whose previous works include A Chronology of Roman Empire and A Chronology of the Byzantine Empire (with Jonathan Harris). His fascination with the 'what ifs' of history was first kindled by a comic strip he read while at primary school in the 1960s and has endured ever since. He currently lives in Lymington, Hampshire.
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