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1066 is the most known year in English history, and the most intriguing. It represents a key turning point: a year in which everything was up for grabs, a year in which England's historical story could have gone any number of ways - a year of ‘what ifs’.
What if King Edward's great-nephew, Edgar, had been thought old enough to rule, and chosen as king? What if the Northern Earls has defeated the Norwegian, Harald Hardrada and King Harold's own brother, Tostig, at Gate Fulford - or what if Harald Hardrada had won the Battle of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire? What if Harold had defeated the Normans at sea? What if Svein of Denmark had invaded or a mysterious European political power had intervened? What if William had died when he was unhorsed at Hastings or had been defeated at London Bridge in November? What if the Bayeux Tapestry carries a hidden, secret meaning about the truth of 1066 - or a time machine could alter the past?
So much could have been different and now, at last, we can explore some of those 'what ifs' in this exciting collection of ‘virtual history’ short stories, written by known and loved writers of the period (and a few from outside it) to celebrate the 950th anniversary of this incredible year.
Our authors are:
Helen Hollick, author of multiple historical and pirate novels, including Harold the King
Joanna Courtney, author of the Queens of the Conquest series
Anna Belfrage, Historical Novel Society Indie Award Winner 2015, author of the Graham Saga
Richard Dee, fantasy author of Ribbonworld
G K Holloway, author of 1066: What Fates Impose
Carol McGrath, author of The Daughters of Hastings trilogy
Alison Morton, author of the Roma Nova thrillers
Eliza Redgold, author of Naked, a novel of Lady Godiva
Annie Whitehead, is a history graduate and writes about Mercia and Saxon England
with a foreword by writer and actor, C.C. Humphreys
The collection includes historical notes of what really did happen alongside the fictional re-interpretations, as well as authors' notes on what fascinates them about 1066 and why they chose to 'change' what they did.
Each story has a few suggestions for 'discussion' points for schools, writer's groups - or just your own curiosity!
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|Top row L-R Joanna, Anna, Helen, Alison|
next row: Eliza, Richard, Carole, G.K. Holloway, Annie
Cover and graphics designed by Cathy Helms, www.avalongraphics.org
Original stock image ©wjarek - Fotolia