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The Norman Conquest and the Reign of William the Conqueror, 1035-87

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor David Bates (University of East Anglia) explores English history between 1035-87, focusing in particular on the Norman Conquest and the reign of William the Conqueror. After an introduction to the course as a whole in which we discuss the personality, leadership style and political status of William, we focus in the second and third modules on the kingdom of England before 1066 – thinking first about the political unity and stability of the kingdom in in the 11th century, and then about the relatively long reign of Edward the Confessor (1042-66). In the fourth and fifth modules, we turn to the year 1066 itself, focusing first on the political situation and the various claims to the English throne, and after that on the fighting itself. In the three modules that follow this – the sixth, seventh and eighth – we look at different sections of William's rule in England: first the imposition of his rule in the years 1066-69, the consolidation of his rule between 1069-73, and the final fourteen years of his rule up to the year 1087. The ninth and tenth modules take a more thematic approach to William's reign, focusing in particular on the church and the Domesday Book, respectively, before we move in the eleventh module to give a broader overview of the extent to which the arrival of William and the Normans represented a change from what had gone before. We end in the twelfth module with a conclusion, focusing in particular on assessing the longer-term importance of the Norman Conquest in the context of British, European, and even world history.

About the Lecturer

David Bates in Professorial Fellow in the Department of History at the University of East Anglia, specialising in English and French history in the period from the tenth century to the thirteenth century. His recent publications include Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum: The Acta of William I, 1066–1087 (1998), The Normans and Empire (2013), and William the Conqueror (2016).