Howarth brings together a chronology of events that have shaped the framework of the historical milieu that the reader contends with the quest to grasp how England eventually became vanquished. Among other things, the author mentions the contributory role played by Duke William of Normandy; Harald Hardrada of Norway and King Harold. It should be noted that in mentioning them the author seeks to paint a picture that represents the distinct characters of each of these players by way of how their respective backgrounds, ideals and values played out to carve out the history that is known today.
By way of content, the story is explicitly presented to the reader, with a wealth of information drawn from multiple sources to attest to the credibility of the story being told. The author is very charitable in his narration, judging by the fact that the storyline is presented in a very consistent fashion with a sporadic intersperse of flashback to buttress the storyline. In doing so the reader gets the advantage of flowing along the main events of the story without the trouble of taking in too many unrelated details. Here is a writer who has the inbuilt capacity to be prudent in the presentation of information to the reader in a very timely and organized manner so much that the impact is readily felt.
As stated elsewhere in this essay, the author draws his information from a stream of diverse sources and most importantly a good number of the sources consulted are contemporary materials that give the author the advantage of having an insightful pool of information to guide the work done. It is important to note that the historical details of the 1066 Conquest have been strangulated, massaged and twisted in so many ways that getting a balanced account of the real events is indeed a monumental task.
Unlike other writers with covert vested interest Howarth has been gracious in his ability to distil the heresy and propaganda from the facts. He does this by citing all contending reports of any incident in the narration with a keen commitment to state all the diverse and competing claims of reliability. From this point he then skillfully articulates the viewpoint he considers…