1066 - Read between, behind and beyond.
After a conflict, its story is written by the victors. Even so, the 'history' in historical fiction should not be subject to convenient rearrangement - only to sceptical reinterpretation.
That 'history is written by the victors' is a truism - that's one of the good things about winning. That this happened to the stories we were fed about the Norman Conquest, I take to be beyond reasonable doubt. Notwithstanding some embroidery worthy of the Bayeux Tapestry itself, the version the Conquerors gave us is fascinating.
However, for all their keen stitching, they still left holes and loose ends. So, I've kept the 'history', but looked again and imagined what might really have occurred. I looked as a story-teller primarily, but with a keen eye on the facts as we know them. The holes and loose ends - the enigmas and ambiguities - of the original were fair game and I gratefully offer answers.
Readers conversant with the accepted accounts will see many familiar characters and situations, and I hope they will find that I have not fetched too far and that my stories are plausible. I trust that they and others not yet fully acquainted with the tale will enjoy my book. That's what writing fiction is about.
Published: 25 November 2014
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