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26 April 2021

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The Norman Conquest in English History. Volume I A Broken Chain?

Congratulations to Professor George Garnett, Tutorial Fellow in History, on the publication of his book “The Norman Conquest in English History. Volume I A Broken Chain?”.

This is the first book-length product of a Major Research Fellowship funded by the Leverhulme Trust in
2008-10. It explores how the Norman Conquest was treated in historical writing, law, and political argument from about 1085 to the early seventeenth century. The book ends by showing how materials salvaged from the Dissolution of the monasteries informed political debate during the constitutional cataclysms of that century, when the Conquest came to be even more fervently contested than it had been in the twelfth.

Professor Garnett said, “This might all seem antiquarian; antiquaries do indeed play a large part. But in the course of writing, the book was overtaken by contemporary politics, from Nigel Farage’s ostentatiously sported Bayeux Tapestry tie, to the Supreme Court’s decision that the purported prorogation of Parliament had been no prorogation. The Court’s judgment began with Sir Edward Coke’s seventeenth-century citation of Sir John Fortescue’s fifteenth-century assessment of the legal consequences of the Conquest. And the in-the-event non-prorogation had been carefully scheduled to conclude on 14 October 2019, the nine-hundred-and-fifty-third anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. The Conquest is with us still as a point of political reference.”

For further information on the book please visit the Oxford University Press here.

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