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Harold the King [Kindle Edition]

Helen Hollick
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The story of the Battle of Hastings, by the acclaimed author of 'A Hollow Crown' (Arrow/Random House). Two men. One Kingdom. One Crown. This is the story of the men and women involved in the tide of events that led to a battlefield near Hastings in 1066. Endorsed by Bernard Cornwell, Sharon Penman and Elizabeth Chadwick.

Product Description


"A novel of enormous emotional power... Helen Hollick is a fabulous writer of historical fiction." --Elizabeth Chadwick (author)

"Helen Hollick has it all! She tells a great story, gets her history right and writes consistently readable books!" --Bernard Cornwell (author of the Sharpe series)

"An epic re-telling of the Norman Conquest." --The Lady

"Don't miss Helen Hollick's colourful recreation of the events leading up to theNorman Conquest in Harold the King." --Daily Mail

"Hollick's enormous cast and meticulous research combine to create a convincing account of the destructive reign of the hapless Edward and the internecine warfare that weakens England as William prepares to invade. Thanks to Hollick's masterful storytelling, Harold's nobility and heroism enthrall to the point of engendering hope for a different ending to the famous battle of 1066."
--Publishers Weekly


This story is set in the England of 1044. As dawn breaks over a summer's landscape, Harold Godwinesson is riding east. One of seven sons of the noble Godwime family, he is newly created Earl of East Anglia. But marrying for love sets him against his family and his King. In France, William, the bastard son of a duke, is hungry for power. A charismatic leader, he care nothing for the hypocrisy of court, only his next victory. Matched by his determined wife Mathilda, he casts his eyes towards England. King Edward is alternately influenced and angered by his powerful mother, the Dowager Queen Emma. Manipulated into a marriage of convenience with Harolds sister, he is at the mercy of his nobles - an he lacks an heir.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1698 KB
  • Print Length: 561 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1906236593
  • Publisher: SilverWood Books (30 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0053H9RCC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #172,689 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Hello, welcome to my Amazon Author Page.

I am Helen Hollick, I live in Devon, England, with my husband Ron and adult daughter Kathy and her husband, Adam.

I write historical fiction, getting to the nuts and bolts of the 'what might have really happened' story of King Arthur in my PENDRAGON'S BANNER Trilogy. There is no magic or fantasy. No Merlin, no Lancelot, knights in armour, round table or holy grail - just the story of a war lord who has to fight hard for his kingdom and even harder to keep it.

'Helen Hollick has it all! She tells a great story, gets her history right and writes consistently readable books!' (Bernard Cornwell)

My Lost Kingdom Saxon Series - HAROLD THE KING (I AM THE CHOSEN KING is the US title of the same book) and its prequel,A HOLLOW CROWN (The FOREVER QUEEN is the US title of the same book) tells the story of the twilight years of Anglo Saxon England immediately before the Norman Conquest.
Stripping the Norman propaganda from what we think we know of that most famous date in English history - 1066 and the Battle of Hastings, my novels portray all the honour and dignity that history remembers of its fallen heroes.

I am also co-scriptwriter for the UK movie 1066 which is in development.

To balance the serious books I have my SEA WITCH VOYAGES: pirate-based adventure fantasy. A fine blend of Sharpe, Hornblower and Indiana Jones all stowed in the one boat.
Voyage One - SEA WITCH
Voyage Two - PIRATE CODE
Voyage Three - BRING IT CLOSE
Voyage Four - Ripples In The Sand

"In the sexiest pirate contest, Captain Jesamiah Acorne gives Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow a run for his money" (Sharon Penman)

Charismatic and a charmer of a rogue, trouble follows Jesamiah Acorne like a ship's wake. His "girl" Tiola, is a white witch, one of the Wise Women of the Old Ones of Light. She is loyal and faithful to Jesamiah - but does he deserve her?

If you liked the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and enjoy a good sailor's yarn, then in the words of author Elizabeth Chadwick "You'll love this to pieces of eight".

And coming soon: Jesamiah Acorne's early adentures as a young pirate: The Mermaid Voyages

Browse my books and 'Lege Feliciter' (read happily)
p.s. Why not take a look at the book trailer videos opposite?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Despite its title, this novel covers the whole quarter century from just after the accession of King Edward (later called the Confessor) until Harold's short reign culminates at Hastings. The author is a very good describer of landscapes and setting a mood of a place or situation. I am a bit less sure about her handling of characters, many of them come across as being a bit two-dimensional, either wholly positive or wholly negative. She is particularly down on King Edward until he is on his deathbed. But overall an engaging read and the final battle description is excellent.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BREATH OF THRESH AIR 20 Nov. 2001
This is the first Helen Hollick book i've ever read and as a fan of historical fiction i found this book to be a breath of fresh air.
Writers of historical fiction however good seem to ignore the anglo-saxon period and behave as though England didn't exist before 1066, concentrating instead on the plantagenets (again!) etc. Thus missing out on so many potentially interesting stories and characters.
Helen Hollick remedies this by telling the tragic story of England's last English king with honesty and realism and with multi-dimensional characters that really engage the reader.
I can't recommend this book more highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing history to life. 28 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Helen's books cover vast swathes of emotions. Raw, breathtaking, vivid pictures of things we all touched on in school. If history teachers could breathe life into their lessons like this, we would all be historians.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harold, The Last Saxon King with a Conscience 29 May 2002
By A Customer
This title covers the life of Harold, Earl of East Anglia, Earl of Wessex, King of England, and above all a nobleman with a conscience. He meets Edyth Swannhaels and falls in love with the young women. Not prominent enough in status, Edyth becomes Harold's "common wife or handfasted wife" which is not recognized by the church as a legal, binding marriage. Throughout their lives their love and loyalty remain strong even though Edyth knows that someday he must take a "formal wife."
In addition, Harold must deal with a weak King Edward, and obnoxious, traitorous, treacherous siblings: Swein, Edith and Tostig. Their exploits against their brother are of unbelievable, but true, proportions. Harold must also contend with a brutal, manipulative Duke William of Normandy who tries to bend Harold to his will and ambition for the throne of England. When this backfires in his face, William declares war on Harold "The Usuper" and England at any and all costs.
This book shows a compassionate, caring man who inherits titles from his father and from Edward King of England. Diplomatic and charismatic but without the "win at all costs" personality of William of Normandy. His extremely human treatment of all of those around his proves his worth to have been chosen the last Saxon King in England.
The maps and genealogical information were also a great plus to this substantial but page turning historical!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Historical Fiction 5 April 2005
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Helen Hollick has the ability to transport the reader to the period of history about which she is writing. A rare talent and one that the reader benefits from enormously.

Harold is one of the most famous King's in English history, certainly to English schoolchildren (1066 and all that), but in fact very little is known of the man himself. His Kingship was brief and bloody and even his own brother turned against him.

Although this book is a novel it does give an insight into Saxon England and helps to put some "meat" on the bones of Harold.

There are so many ifs and buts to his short reign. Should he have ever been King of England in the first place? Or did he seize a throne that was promised to William of Normandy by Edward the Confessor and thus caused William to invade England for what he thought was his by right.

If Harold had not had to fight the battle of Stamford Bridge, near York and then march his men down through England to face William the Bastard at Hastings, would he as many people think have been victorious and the Norman conquest would probably never have happened.

Helen Hollick weaves a spellbinding story around the life and times of Harold and it is a really terrific read.
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Format:Kindle Edition
Helen has done immense research and rewards the reader by bringing the period to life through characters and locations. Although it is a conjectural account of relationships and events, she sticks close to historical fact. Thus the book is both entertaining and extremely informative of the timeline of events that led to William's theft of the English throne, (sorry if I show bias here). Towards the end of the book she had me wishing for a different outcome than the factual result. I would recommend this as a very good read for anyone who likes historical novels irrelevant of their preferred genre.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By chwms
1066. We know how it ends. And despite what we know, as we read this book, Harold the King, we hope that somehow, this time, the ending will change and England's date with destiny will be averted. Helen Hollick has produced a book that draws the reader into the lives of each of the major players in this drama. We see Edward I, Harold, Tostig and Duke William as they maneuver around the coveted throne. Their wives and families come alive for us so that we begin to understand what motivates the men who lead other men into battle for the sake of a crown . I liked the portrayal of Edward I as a confused man who should never have been given a crown and Harold, as the symbol of the Anglo-Saxon way of life which was already being blown about by the storms from the east. Duke William was no surprise as the man consumed with lust for power and Tostig flirting on the sidelines paves the way for William's conquest.
Five stars to Ms Hollick for creating a great read that kept me turning pages - while not wanting to get to the end I knew was there....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Much as I enjoyed the previous book in the series
Much as I enjoyed the previous book in the series, I found it impossible to really enjoy this and in fact as it is a very long book, difficult to finish it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Macavity
4.0 out of 5 stars Brings the Anglo Saxons to life
I have really enjoyed this book.
After reading lots of historical crime - Shardlake etc - I was looking for something historical but not necessarily crime. Read more
Published 14 months ago by anns
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for people who like historical stories!
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Made me want to find out more facts about that period in History. Had already read "The Hollow Crown" by Helen Hollick and had enjoyed that... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Ronnie65
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best novel on Harold II
I've a keen interest in this period of English history, and must confess to being an admirer of King Harold II. Read more
Published 22 months ago by F. Addams
5.0 out of 5 stars Harold
Enjoyed this, Harold is so overshadowed by William! He was a very brave fighter and what a challenge he faced
Published 22 months ago by Littletich
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
This is a very good read. The history behind the story is informative and sets a good time line as to what was happening in England at the time before 1066. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Mr John Hawes
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
Like many others I knew about Harold Godwinsson from History lessons at school but to be honest knew more about William and the Norman Invasion and what followed. Read more
Published on 22 Feb. 2013 by KarenW
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Our King Harold'
What a beautiful, lyrical piece of writing about the lost and greatly lamented King of the English, Harold Godwinson. Read more
Published on 24 Jan. 2013 by Constantius10
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but huge anticlimax
This is pretty much the first historical novel about this time period I've read and with only a basic knowledge of what took place in this era I was looking forward to getting a... Read more
Published on 14 Jun. 2012 by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read!
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It is so absorbing I found it very hard to put down. Read more
Published on 4 April 2012 by Netty
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