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About the different schools of historical study:

On History by Eric Hobsbawm (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1997) - A collection of essays from a committed Marxist which address a wide number of issues in historiography and the philosophy of history. Hobsbawm has views on postmodernism, econometrics, social history, the role of theory and, of course, on the continuing utility of Marxism.

The Making of the English Working Class by E P Thompson (Penguin Books, 1970) - In its preface, this has one of the most brilliant expositions on the meaning and value of social history approached from 'below', ie from the perspective of the small man and woman.

English Society, 1580-1680 by Keith Wrightson (Hutchinson, 1982) - In a similar way to the above, this also contains much that is inspirational for those wishing to understand how to tackle the history of past societies and of society itself.

The French Historical Revolution: The Annales School - 1929-1989 by Peter Burke (Stanford University Press, 1991) - This is the most accessible overview of the emergence and development of the Annales school, taking as it does a chronological, generation-by-generation approach.

The Historian's Craft by Marc Bloch (Manchester University Press, 1992) - This is an excellent insight into the Annales way of doing things from one of the founding fathers of the movement and certainly one of its most influential characters.

The Territory of the Historian by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie (Harvester P, 1979) - This is by one of the leading lights of the third generation of the Annales and his book includes a brilliant exposition on quantitative history.

The Cheese and the Worms: the Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller by C Ginzburg (John Hopkins University Press, 1997) - One of the best books of the Mentalities style, by an author who denied being an Annalistes. Its story of the life and (eventual) death of an ordinary miller is heart-rending at times; the cruelty of life, and yet the indomitable human spirit, comes across with great force.

About the times of the Conquest:

Ecclesiastical History Vol II, Books 3 and 4 by Orderic Vitalis (Oxford University Press, 1983)

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Translation from Garmonsway's revision of the text, various editions. (Boydell and Brewer Ltd)

The Anglo-Saxons edited by James Campbell (Penguin, 1991)

The English and the Norman Conquest by Ann Williams (Boydell and Brewer Ltd, 1997)

Conquest and Colonisation by Brian Golding (Palgrave, 2001)

William the Conqueror by David Bates (Tempus, 2001)

Anglo-Norman England by M Chibnall (Blackwell Publishers, 1987)


The Bayeux Tapestry: A useful site containing a full likeness of the tapestry as well as a translation of the Latin text that appears on it.

The Battle of Hastings: Useful context on the Battle of Hastings and links to a site displaying the Tapestry in its entirety.

Essential Norman Conquest: Contains a timeline which you can click on to find out what was happening at that particular point in 1066. Offers a full, scrollable version of the Tapestry.

The Reading Bayeux Tapestry: Reading Museum and Art Gallery houses a complete replica of the tapestry. The site features images of the Tapestry, recounts the story it tells and also contains a history of this famous piece of embroidery.

Places to visit

Bayeux Tapestry: Centre Guillaume le Conquérant: Tel: 00 33 2 31 51 25 50 Bayeux Cathedral was founded by Odo of Bayeux on money made from Conquest. The architecture mirrors parts of Tapestry. Tel: 00 33 2 31 92 01 85 Westminster Abbey was built by Edward the Confessor. Edward was buried there, and both Harold and William were crowned there. Tel: 020 7222 7110

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Published: 31-01-2005

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