1066 is a year all Britons remember when an army from northern France led by Duke William of Normandy landed in the south of England and wrested control of the island kingdom from its ruling Anglo-Saxons. William's victory at the Battle of Hastings forever transformed the British isles. From a land of mead halls and Nordic songs think of that story involving Beowulf and some monster's really angry mother it would become more Latinate, home to chivalric order and French romances. Whether all this was on William's mind is another thing. His Normans were descended from Viking settlers in France looting and plundering ran thick in his veins.