If you’ve had a look through some of the books I’ve read on this blog, you’ll see more than a few are set in and around the 1066 period. I haven’t actively sought out books to do with this period, it’s just that there seems to be at the moment, a fair few of them about.
Today is the anniversary of one of the two less famous battles of 1066. And I’ve noticed a couple of interesting links I thought you might like to check out.
This is a link to a quite excellent piece (one would expect nothing less) from the blog of historian Marc Morris, not by coincidence, the writer of The Norman Conquest book, which I recently read. And thoroughly enjoyed reading (if you only read one book on 1066, etc).
This is a link to a podcast on the BBC Radio 4 programme called In Our Time, where four (I think) historians talk about the events before and leading up to the battle of Stamford Bridge. I say ‘before and leading up to’, because – and I suppose we should blame time constraints here, as Melvin Bragg points out few times) – of the battle itself, they say very little, to next to nothing. In over 40 minutes. Which kind of makes you wonder why the title was ‘The Battle of Stamford Bridge.’
However, Marc Morris’ blog post does manage to stick to talking about the actual battle and I would dare to suggest, tells us more about it in his five and a bit paragraphs, than these four (?) esteemed professors managed to in their 40 minutes. Actually, the whole podcast is worth a listen just to hear Melvin Bragg jumping in time and time again to keep the historians from rambling off into unconnected areas 😉
I used to (before moving to Denmark) live up in the north of England, in Leeds, reasonably near York and Stamford Bridge. We drove through the village many times and stopped more than once for a cheeky pint in the local pub. There isn’t much of any kind of indication of where the battle took place, but as they say in the radio podcast, there is a small monument to the battle in the centre of the village. Or there was, as it is 10 years nearly, since I left the UK, f’goodness’ sake.
Suggestion: As Marc Morris does stick to the subject, the battle, I’d suggest you read his post first, and then listen to the Radio 4 programme, as a way of filling in more background details – such as they are – of the general situation in England and Europe in the period leading up to 1066 and all that.