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While shoving the shelves in search of precious information, many readers always get to realize a lot. Taking into account this point of view, a keen seeker of information will easily note that these written works are always rich in the history of certain famous phenomena. Revisiting the historical contents is a key area in the pursuit of knowledge since it greatly helps the reader to get a deeper insight and understanding of the origin of some current events, especially in the global arena. This essay shall not be about anything short of what the introduction above reveals. It shall involve an evaluation and a discussion in line with the contents of David Howarth’s book, a famous container of rich world history. Howarth who lived between 1912 and 1991 was not only a legendary British historian but also a writer. To be more specific, the essay shall revolve around the contents of, ‘1066: The Year of the Conquest’ by the above-mentioned author.

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In most cases, the usefulness of a book is always determined by the value of the contents within it. At some point, the method of expression of words, concepts, ideas, and discussions within the book equally helps the reader to understand it more. It is true that finding a perfect material with all the standard requirements for a successful reception by the audience is a rare but very possible feat. This discussion shall dwell on one of such books. ‘1066: The Year of Conquest’ by Howarth has proved to be a key teaching material in many fields, especially in such courses which deal with the history of medieval Britain (Howarth, 1981). The flawless development of the story and the simple expression of the facts make the book an outstanding one in many areas. While going through the book, it is always easy for the readers to establish their stand as far as the framework of history is concerned.

A number of things are laudable in this piece of work, but one is rather intriguing, the author’s decision to allow chronological time to take dominance in the book's development. It was a wise move that has since assisted the reader's easy access to the message the author has intended to pass across. The other approach that is worth noting as applied by this author is the use of flashbacks. This was perfectly restricted to specific and special cases, hence allowing the book to precede both in a rational and orderly manner. By using such stylistic writing devices, the readers are not forced to move on to upcoming events within the flow of the story (Howarth, 1981). At the same time, the tacit flow saves the readers all the agony of having to jump back to earlier events in a bid to renew a grasp of the narrative’s flow. In a nutshell, the approach which was employed by Howarth simply allowed the story to develop and hence flow in a natural manner.

The authors tend to rush to the level of displaying critical information before actually laying a favorable base upon which they can manage to argue different cases. This is mostly caused by the authors’ excitement about their findings. However, Howarth disciplines himself to restrain pertinent information from the readers until the time when it is fully needed and its impact in the flow of the narrative can be felt. In addition to that, these pieces of information get revealed in a clear and coherent manner, an aspect which shields the readers from getting confused and therefore losing the trail as far as the flow of the narrative is concerned.

Just to revisit an issue that has been hinted at earlier on, the story mostly captures the contents of Britain’s medieval period. The author, therefore, includes a number of accounts involving the conquest which took place during this period. The encouraging reception of the book can, therefore, be attributed to a number of key strengths exhibited by the author; some of which have been discussed in the portions above. In continuation of this discussion, it is also important to point out that Howarth has used three-dimensional characters that are able to think for themselves. They equally can feel; hence, they are not merely vague inclusions in the story. This helps to widen the scope of the readers’ understanding and to give them the very room to offer their individual opinions concerning certain aspects of the story.

In this book, Howarth explores different versions of stories and legends. By doing this, the readers are given a better room to see the truth since they are offered the avenue to decide for themselves. Howarth manages to shift through the propaganda of the time for a more coherent view of the events. This, in turn, brings out the picture of the author as one who makes correct judgments. Despite the fact that the author cuts the figure of a good judge, some of the military, as well as the political conjectures, are seemingly twisted.

In ‘1066: The year of conquest’, the author also manages to discuss the political causes of the conquest in a manner that is not only detailed but also informative. In addition to that, the discussion equally takes care of the thoughts of the participants, their emotions as well as the political realities (Howarth, 1981,). The author expresses a lot of fairness in his depictions, hence confirming the fact that he cannot be easily fooled by propaganda. For instance, at some point in history, Edward the Confessor was glorified as a saint, but this fact has not influenced the author, so he depicts Edward as he actually was. At the same time, Harold had also been accused of being a power-hungry individual because of the fact that he was crowned (too soon) after Edward’s death. However, Howarth notes that it would have taken three months for the next possible coronation to take place. As a result, Harold was crowned at Edward’s burial. This approach by the author helps the readers to get the most realistic perspective of the political situation during this period.

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While some authors have shown their rather negative points of view regarding Harold’s failure(s) during the conquest, Howarth gives this situation a more sober approach and analysis. While some individuals feel Harold should have multiplied his army, Howarth notices that the ridge had already been filled with troops, and this fact made supply a rather challenging exercise. Adding more troops, according to Howarth, would do more harm than good. In addition, Howarth goes ahead to give more realistic accounts to offer reasons behind some of Harold’s strategies and decisions. All these, therefore, lead the readers to a deeper understanding of the activities before, during, and even after the conquest.

Apart from some of the above-mentioned strengths of the book, the other notable aspect is the author’s use of sources. He employs the use of various contemporary sources which are not only relevant but also allow him to offer a history that is more balanced and full. Howarth, in a wise manner, gets to weed out the allegations from the propaganda and continuous religious overtones which dominated the literature of the following period. He uses the relevant sources to describe how the conquest of England led to a Norman victory; hence, the conquest story is seen through Norman's eyes. Just to ensure the accuracy of the obtained information, the author carefully scrutinizes his primary sources by analyzing their contents at face value.

All the discussed above factors confirm the fact that the book was and has remained to be an outstanding one. The flow of the story and the interesting aspect of the narrative make it entertaining, educative, and also informative. In conclusion, it would be important to note that this book deserves to be added to the list of Medieval history course materials. This is because it is not only interesting but also academically sound. It provides the readers with a good avenue where they can be able to observe the process of daily living during the medieval era. The author’s sense of humanity sets this work apart in comparison from some other materials which equally discuss the same subject. While most of these materials have the tendency of filling the readers with clouds of information without any basic facts and grounds for further arguments, this book comprises well-arranged and perfectly flowing facts that add more taste to the whole piece of work.

Code: writers15

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