Tuesday, Dec. 07, 2010


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.