Patterson cover

De Re Militari | Book Reviews

Benton Rain Patterson

Harold and William: the Battle for England, A.D. 1064-1066

New York: Cooper Square Press, 2001. xxiii+209 pp. $28.95. 0815411650.

Patterson opens his book, Harold and William, with an unashamed statement of bias against William, Duke of Normandy. He has composed a narrative history of the events beginning in 1064, when Harold Godwinson is serving William in Normandy, and ending in the midst of the Battle of Hastings. The book is arranged along chronological lines with each chapter covering, roughly, a month of time, until the final chapters which cover the days surrounding the Battle of Hastings. All of the chapters are fairly brief and touch on the highlights of the historical narrative.

In the closing pages of the book Patterson defends the writing style of the book. He has striven to make this narrative as readable as possible to as many people as possible. The one criticism of this style is that without documentation the division between researched fact and conjecture is very blurry. The use of footnotes would have detracted little and leant more scholarly weight to the text. In the end Patterson has succeeded admirably as this book provides an excellent pro-Harold narrative survey of the relationship between Harold Godwinson and William, Duke of Normandy.

Cason Snow

Northern Illinois University <C60CXS1@wpo.cso.niu.edu>

Page Added: December 2007