Customer Reviews


8 Reviews
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars King Harold the Great... Almost!
Great book about the King Harold who ruled England from January 1066 to October 1066, between Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror.
The fascinating thing is that Harold ALMOST pulled it off. This book gives us a detailed look at Harold's year as king and the problems he faced, namely competition for the throne of England by another King and a Duke...
Published on 10 Mar. 2005

versus
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
some of the books we have not yet finished reading. will review again when completed.
Published 5 months ago by frances chilton


Most Helpful First | Newest First

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars King Harold the Great... Almost!, 10 Mar. 2005
By A Customer
Great book about the King Harold who ruled England from January 1066 to October 1066, between Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror.
The fascinating thing is that Harold ALMOST pulled it off. This book gives us a detailed look at Harold's year as king and the problems he faced, namely competition for the throne of England by another King and a Duke.
What most people don't know is that Harold defeated King Harald Hardrada of Norway in a pitched battle near York before riding south to his doom at Hastings.
Even Hasting wasn't an easy battle. The last English king put up a great fight and the battle wasn't decided until very late in the day when Harold finally fell and was killed.
Harold deserves mush more of a mention that most histories of England give him. He was a clever politician and capable, experience warrior who rode and fought his opponents hard. Never the coward, he bravely faced his enemies in battle.
This book is very interesting in filling in the blanks about a man who was king of England only briefly in 1066. It's an interesting read for anyone interesting in the end of Anglo-Saxon England and all that went with it.
Buy and read; it's a cracking book I'd recommend you...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last, but certainly not least, 18 Dec. 2006
This review is from: Harold: The Last Anglo-Saxon King (Paperback)
One of the problems afflicting English history surrounding 1066 is that some historians have been swayed by sympathiser sources (e.g. that of Robert of Jumieges, the deposed Archbishop of Canterbury) and the victor's propaganda and actions (e.g. The Bayeux Tapestry, 'The Carmen', and the destruction of many Anglo-Saxon documents).

Harold, The Last Saxon King is a refreshing change.

Ian Walker demonstrates healthy scepticism, steers away from legend, and objectively considers sources - or if lacking, as for some Anglo-Saxon perspectives - reasoned evidence of the time. And through careful analysis and thought, he arrives at good, insightful conclusions.

Considering this book is largely an analysis of sources and literature, the surprise is that it is interesting and involving, which is credit to the author's thinking and writing abilities.

Chapter 11 is an interesting and dispassionate account of the Battle of Hastings. Commonly cited failings directed at King Harold are impetuousness and a 'premature' move from London against Duke William's invading forces - perhaps in hope of surprise, as Harold had previously achieved at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Ian Walker shows through evidence that Harold was actually a cautious commander in nearly all of his career and generally preferred negotiation to combat, yet there were good reasons to move early against William. Just because Harold lost the Battle of Hastings doesn't mean he wasn't William's equal as a commander. Ian Walker shows Harold was at least that, and without the murderous streak.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best historical account of Harold you'll read, 4 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Harold: The Last Anglo-Saxon King (Paperback)
Ian W Walker shines a dazzling light on this part of what is often refered to as the dark ages. Not only does he write a thoroughly researched account of Harold's life he also puts it in the context of late Anglo Saxon period. This book is a labour of love and it comes across as such. There's detail enough to greatly inform you without your getting bogged down in the minutia of humdrum daily life. A superb read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dazzling Account of Harold, 8 Dec. 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Harold: The Last Anglo-Saxon King (Paperback)
This is a gritty and dazzling account of the short reign of the last Anglo Saxon King of England. Although his reign was pitifully short and savagely curtailed it is quite amazing that he is remembered, probably more than many of those who came after him and reigned for a much greater length of time. Harold did not even reign long enough to make much of a mark on English history and yet most people know of the Battle of Hastings and the Bayeux tapestry. It is a little strange that a man is so well remembered, for a defeat, rather than a victory.

There are so many ifs and buts in Harold's life. Should the crown of England been his in the first place. Did Edward actually name Harold as his successor while on his deathbed, or did William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy have a prior and more valid claim to England, as he always maintained. If William had decided not to sail when he did. After all he had postponed the crossing so many times previously, would the outcome have been any different. Was it William and his army who defeated Harold at Hastings. Or on the other hand did Harold's brother Tostig play a major role in the demise of his own brother. Harold's rapid march back down from the battlefield of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire, a battle in which Tostig was heavily involved and paid for that treachery with his life, certainly did not help Harold or his army, many of whom left on the march south to tend to their crops and their animals. The remainder tired in both body and mind. Only to be called to arms again almost immediately. If Harold's army had held the high ground at Hastings and not charged after what they thought was the routed army of William, would the outcome of the battle turned in their favour?

All of these events in isolation seem trivial, but when joined together and happening within a short space of time, one can see the exasperation that Harold must have faced. He must have felt that everything and everybody was conjoining to bring about his downfall. Even the Almighty had smoothed the waters of the channel for a safe crossing for William, his men and just as importantly, his horses, that were to play such an important part in the battle for the crown of England.

The author has written a splendid book about the life and times of Harold, leading up to his crowning and subsequent death and has almost seemed to get into the mind of a man who lived a thousand years ago. If Harold had survived to continue his short reign, all of our lives may have been so different. Ian Walker answers all the questions you are every likely to ask about a man whose destiny was foretold in the stars. If you never read another book on Harold, the Last Saxon King, do not miss this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Readable and well researched, 30 May 2009
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
A very well researched biography of Harold, using all the relatively scare English and Norman sources as fully but as realistically as possible, being aware of their biases and limitations. At the same time, the book is very readable and flows well and one emerges with as clear a picture of Harold the person as we are ever likely to get.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy opponent to William the Conqueror, 25 Oct. 1998
By A Customer
I must admit it. I knew next to nothing about this man, and this book opened my eyes to what was truly a remarkable and effective leader. Definitly worth reading to get the "other side" of William the Conqueror's story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Harold: The Last Anglo-Saxon King, 23 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A book in excellent condition, as good as new because very carefully looked after: a pleasure to have. Also, it arrived promptly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 20 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Harold: The Last Anglo-Saxon King (Paperback)
some of the books we have not yet finished reading. will review again when completed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Harold: The Last Anglo-Saxon King
Harold: The Last Anglo-Saxon King by Ian W Walker (Paperback - 13 April 2010)
£9.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews