Morillo, Stephen (ed). The Battle of Hastings: Sources and Interpretations.

Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1996.

I have a longstanding interest in early medieval Europe and the Norman conquest of England (it wasn’t a cultural invasion at the beginning, simply a military campaign) comes right at the end of that period, just before the introduction of feudalism and chivalry and all that. I also have a strong background in military history, so I’ve naturally read a good deal about the Battle of Hastings over the years.

October 14, 1066, was a key day in the history of Western Europe, . . . although the issue of “key battles” in historical method and interpretation gets kind of a working-over here. The thing is, from the title, I rather expected this to be a collection of essays in reconsideration of the political lead-up, tactical details, and outcome of the battle — something similar to the annual “Battle Conference” proceedings, most of which I’ve read — but it’s not that at all. Instead, it’s a collection of readings from the past, the sort of volume produced solely for the use of college students who are beginners to the subject, in order to give them a running start on the major issues, the original sources on which they are based, and their interpretation by past experts. So we have here a series of excerpts from William of Poitiers, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and so on, followed by a dozen essays or book-chapters going as far back as Edward Freeman and including offerings from Chibnall, Hume, and other well-known scholars (and including Morillo himself — one of the privileges of being the editor of a product like this). All this may be of interest to the grad student just entering the field of Anglo-Norman studies, but it unfortunately has little to offer anyone who has been reading in the subject for very many years.

Advertisements
Published in: on 12 March 2011 at 6:31 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://reviewsmith.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/morillo-stephen-ed-the-battle-of-hastings-sources-and-interpretations/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: