Book Review: 1066: A Guide to the Battles and the Campaigns


by Michael Livingston and and Kelly DeVries

Barnsley, Eng. / Philadelphia: Pen & Sword / Casemate, 2021. Pp. vi, 213. Illus., maps, table, sidebars, biblio., index. $24.95 paper. ISBN: 1526751976

A Handbook on the Norman Conquest

The title we’ve used for this review of this excellent little account of the Norman Conquest by Professors Livingston (The Citadel) and DeVries (Loyola) reflects the fact that they do much more than just take us around battlefields and tell us who won and who lost and why. 

The authors open with a chapter reviewing the background of Anglo-Saxon England and its turbulent recent history.  They then follow with a chapter discussing William of Normandy and the roots of his claim to the throne of England.  Then they get to the events of 1066

There are chapters on the Norwegian invasion of the north and England’s King Harold Godwinson’s response, the organization of William’s expedition and his landings in the south, the Battle of Hastings proper, and the follow up to the battle, which by no means ended Anglo-Saxon resistance, a matter often overlooked in accounts of the Conquest.

Their writing is concise, with many side bars to identify people, explain technical terms, and so forth, and each chapter ends with a recommended tour route. Of particular interest is their little profiles Harald Hardrada , the King of Norway, and the less well-known Edgar the Ætheling, the actual heir to Harold of England, both of whom had adventures the would seem improbable if found in an heroic fantasy novel

1066: A Guide to the Battles and the Campaigns is a very good book for anyone who knows little about the conquest, and one which even those well up on the subject may find interesting.




Note: 1066: A Guide to the Battles and the Campaigns is also available in several e-editions.


StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium (

Reviewer: A.A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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