Today is the anniversary of the date that resonates in English people’s minds the way 1776 does here, a rather grandiose way of saying that it’s one date most people probably know: October 14, 1066. The Battle of Hastings was the last invasion of England when a French Norseman, William the Conqueror, invaded, walloped the Saxon nobility and the King, and took over the country, changing the language and introducing snails as the national dish. There are many sites about this so I can promise you much time-wasting lies ahead of you should you wish to pursue it.

One of the most remarkable pieces of art in the world is the Bayeux Tapestry, which records the events leading up to the battle and the battle itself. It’s not actually a tapestry, but is embroidery on linen, eight pieces joined to a massive piece about 20″ tall and 230′ long. Legend has it that it was created by William’s wife Matilda and it’s sometimes referred to still as la tapisserie de la reine Mathilde. More likely it was commissioned by William’s half brother Bishop Odo and made by monks in the south of England.

The original is on display in France and there is a Victorian copy in the museum of my home town, Reading.

Today I’m all over the blogosphere talking about my fictional second invasion by the French in 1797 when Jane Austen was a vampire, Jane and the Damned. There’s a review and a guest blog at Book Faery and a discussion at Austen Authors on what Jane Austen was really like.

You can still enter the contest at Vampchix to win a copy of Bespelling Jane Austen.

And please enter Another Damned Good Contest on my website! Valuable prizes to be won!

UPDATE: Check out this cool contest celebrating the release of Bespelling Jane Austen at Diesel ebooks.

Now another day of poor personal hygiene and writing lies ahead.
What are you doing today?