The Norman Conquest By Marc Morris, The Narrative Of The Norman Invasion Of 1066

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The Norman Conquest by Marc Morris is a narrative of the Norman invasion of 1066. Since the events happened so long ago, there are many incomplete accounts of the events. Even these incomplete accounts are usually heavily biased. As such, it is a difficult undertaking for a historian to construct a cohesive summary of the period. Nevertheless, Marc Morris attempted the task, and did an admirable job. It is written as a narrative, but has enough detail to satisfy a student of history. Morris begins by exploring the history of one of the few sources that remain of the Norman invasion, the Bayeux tapestry. The tapestry has had a long history of trading hands and escaping harm seemingly miraculously. According to Morris, the Bayeux tapestry has survived looting in the French Revolution, was owned by Napoleon Bonaparte for a time, and was stolen by Nazis during their occupation of France in World War II. Aside from its own fascinating history, the tapestry itself is not a flawless source. Morris points out that it is in fact incomplete, as it abruptly stops at Harold Godwinson’s death. It was also in part copied from older accounts of the invasion and therefore is not a primary source. It is also “non-committal in its portrayal of events” and the captions “are for the most part willfully obscure or ambiguous (p. 4).” In other words, it seems intended more to be a narrative than as a factual historical record. Exact dates are often not given for important events, such as the
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