Friday, March 20, 2015

Book - 1066 What Fates Impose - By G. K. Holloway



1066 What Fates Impose by G.K. Holloway



                                               

My Review :

I had the privilege to have the author of this great book ask me to read his work
and write a synopsis. Indeed, he presented me with an autographed copy of his book, and it is my pleasure to embark on this Odyssey which begins in…
Rouen, Normandy, 1087 AD, when King William the Conqueror (William I, Duke of Normandy) is on his death bed and surrounded by his son and prominent people
This is the first book by G.K. Holloway I am very happy to read.  In my very humble opinion, it was a fantastic voyage to the medieval past and, at the same time, has allowed me to learn so much about a period of history so dear to me.
G. K. Halloway has such a realistic writing style, that he can't help but impart life to each and every one of his characters, whom incidentally, you either end up loving or hating as you read the book.
The places, the mountains, the sea…Everything is so beautifully described, that you can see spectacular colors through all of his depictions.  When the invasion of England began, the war as he described it felt so real to me, that I almost felt I had to close my eyes in order to keep me from seeing a sword decapitating someone.  It is obvious to me that anybody that can elicit such thoughts and emotions in his readers, has succeeded in writing with great love and dedication.
This is the story of The Battle of Hastings
As it happens, King Edward the Confessor was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings to rule England. Indeed, one of the challenges he faced was his lack of progeny, which enticed his brothers-in-law to engage in all sorts of preparations to succeed him once he died. Most prominent in these was his eldest brother-in-law Harold II, Earl of Wessex.
However, there was also William I, Duke of Normandy, cousin to King Edward the Confessor. The king of England had made a promise to his cousin the duke, that he was going to be his successor to the English Crown.
But things took a different turn, and when King Edward the Confessor died on Jan 5th, 1066, he had already chosen Harold II, Earl of Wessex as his successor instead, who in turn was crowned on the following day.
It is then that the Duke of Normandy, begins his plans to invade England and take possession of what he claimed as his birth right.
But before I continue, I’d like to go back and touch a bit upon Harold II, Earl if Wessex. In my opinion, I saw Harold as an extremely charismatic person, very well loved, with many followers and, as is also to be expected, surrounded by people that did not love him, no different from what any other human being would have experienced.
He felt great love for the mother of his children, although it is not altogether certain that she was either his true wife or a life-long lover.  In this book, it is mentioned that King Harold II does marry a woman during the last year of his life, but that this action was taken by him for political reasons. 
Continuing on…William I (Duke of Normandy and later known as The Conqueror) spends all of 1066 preparing for his invasion of England, readying people and asking for Papal dispensations in order to bless his war. As they got to the English coast line, there were thousands of men involved in the invasion and a fleet of around 900 ships.  When the battle begins, it was a bloody battle from the start; a massacre indeed.  
This book is so well written that at one point, I believed I was on a tree on top a hill looking over and watching the battle unfold. Indeed, I read a passage that left me completely astonished.  The Normans were not going to let anybody live.  They killed men, women, children and elders…they even “ impaled” children alive.
But King Harold II was also well prepared to face the Normans; nevertheless, the English began to lose because they did not have as many reinforcements as the Normans did.  In fact, another factor that played in favor of the Normans was that they had a contingent of men from other kingdoms ready to support them whenever needed.

I thus invite you to read this great book and experience the hardship and battles of King Harold II and the Duke of Normandy, who later became King William I (The Conqueror) of England.