1066 remains the most famous date in English history. Harriet Harvey Wood’s original and fascinating book tells a story that few of us know. She shows that, rather than bringing culture and enlightenment to England, the Normans’ aggressive and illegal invasion destroyed a long-established and highly developed civilization, far ahead of other European societies in the sophistication of its political institutions, art and literature. Harvey Wood explores the background and lead-up to the invasion and the motives of the leading players, the state of warfare in England and Normandy in 1066, and the battle itself. Judged before the event, King Harold ought to have won the Battle of Hastings without difficulty and to have enjoyed a peaceful and enlightened reign. That he did not was largely a matter of sheer bad luck. This gripping and entertaining book shows how he came to be defeated, and what England lost as a result of his defeat and death.