First thing’s first, I’ve got to be honest with you guys. I was approached by the publisher, MadeGlobal, to read this book. They said that the author, Charlie Fenton, recommended me to them because I would be sure to write a detailed review of the book. So, a huge thank you to MadeGlobal and Charlie! I’m really appreciative to have this chance. None of that impeded me in writing an honest review of this book.
The next thing I have to say is for all that I am as a history nerd, I have no clue about this sort of history. I’ve only read a few books about this era and, most of them, I rarely understood anything since they threw names at me and they were basically all the same for me.
However, this book was very succinctly given. In the beginning, only names that I needed for the full story were given. I appreciate that. It let me know people I needed to so, whenever I read more about this era, I’ll actually have a background of people to pick out from however many names there are. Everyone was easy to keep straight. The timeline was super helpful in the front so I could at least have a rough idea of what was coming. There wasn’t extraneous information given.
Despite this book being over the whole context of the battle, I found the sections about what happened after the most interesting. I didn’t really know anything that happened after. For the before stuff, I sort of figured that there were two people who thought they should have the throne, but I didn’t know that William the Conqueror literally destroyed everything. It was so interesting to read that, the uprising and how they tried to get someone else on the throne.
Then, there were the various changes that stemmed from the Battle of Hastings. I literally thought that I could read a full book on that. (And I’m sure that there are books on that, so please recommend if you know any.) Language, culture, architecture, religion, social hierarchy all changed from this one battle. It was fascinating to read even those few pages.
Another section of this book was about the Bayreux Tapestry. I loved reading about how it was a piece of the truth, but largely propaganda. For something that big, it’s a pretty huge undertaking for propaganda. But, I just really found it fascinating as a way to create Edward the Confessor as a saint or giving acceptance to William the Conqueror or destroying Harold’s reputation.
In other words, I really liked this book. MadeGlobal’s History in a Nutshell is really great. I’ve read multiple of their books and they’re always succinct and just super easy to understand. I’d highly recommend any of them, but this one was especially interesting about a subject I don’t know tons about.