In October 1066 Duke William of Normandy won the Battle of Hastings and killed King Harold. Confident that the path to the throne was now clear he rested his army and waited for the Witan, the council of the great English lords, to come to submit to him.
They did not come.
Instead they chose as the king Edgar Aetheling, the young grandson of Edmund Ironside. Edgar was the only person directly descended from Alfred the Great and the Witan must have believed that only he had any hope of uniting the country against the Norman invaders.
Thwarted in his wait for the English to come to him William marched north to seek their submission in London. A terrible disease, possibly dysentery, swept through the army and William himself became terribly ill. In a few weeks, however, the army was on the move again, ravaging Kent and heading towards London.
It was at Southwark that the Normans experienced their first setback. The English, defending their new young king, threw the invaders back at London Bridge. Unable to enter the city, William burnt Southwark in revenge.
William then led his army on a long sweep west and north of the Thames, destroying everything in his path.
It was by such methods that William made his first mark upon the people of England.
But he still had to deal with the legitimate king of England.
My novels, ‘The Lost King: Resistance’ and ‘Wasteland’ tell the story of Edgar and his resistance to the Norman invaders. They are available in e-book from all retailers including Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Sony and WH Smith.
The third in the series: ‘Warrior’ will be available early in 2013.
- Edgar Atheling: A Story Buried for 1000 Years (martinlakewriting.wordpress.com)