1066 and all that


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?

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Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

My day of poor personal hygiene is tomorrow, my day off. I will spend it with a finish this book or die trying attitude.

Today I am working late which isn’t always a bad thing. Later in the evening there tend to be fewer customers so I can get more done. I have a couple of hundred Halloween cupcakes to turn out before this weekend.

Janet Mullany
11 years ago

So glad to hear someone else equates a writing day with poor personal hygiene. I predict you’re never going to want another Halloween cupcake in your life!

Kate Dolan
11 years ago

Is the poor personal hygiene in honor of the Normans? It’s a time period I haven’t studied much but would love to since it was since an era of change. I would like to have a better idea of whether King Harold could have beaten off William if his army wasn’t so worn out from dealing with the Vikings.
Do you think there were vampires involved?…

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

My friends Helen and Eugene are big fans of the Bayeux Tapestry. The motif is part of the decor in their house.

What an amazing piece of needlework it is, no matter who accomplished it!

Today it is pouring rain here. A great day for tea (like Carolyn discussed yesterday) and for writing. I might take a shower, too, just to be different.

Erastes
11 years ago

i think you rather over-estimate the meaning of the day, to be honest – we English have very very long memories, and we don’t tend to hang onto those that we disapprove of – such as being invaded! It really doesn’t hold the same place in our heads or hearts that 1776 does, because that was a celebration for the Yanks, whereas 1066 was a bitter defeat for us, I mean – who the hell wanted to be French? I personally couldn’t have told you the date, I don’t think many people could. LOL – if I did remember it, I’d probably have a William Sucks Day.

However – here’s a lovely and fun Bayeux Game which I love.

http://www.adgame-wonderland.de/type/bayeux.php

Janet Mullany
11 years ago

Erastes, I said it was a date people knew, not necessarily that they celebrate! I think the other invasions that could have taken place were foiled by mismanagement and bad weather, which was certainly the case in WW2 and in the unpleasantness at Fishguard in 1797.

I also forot to mention in the post that Brighton was apparently one of the places thought most likely to be invaded during the Napoleonic wars and that’s why the regiment in P&P goes there.

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

Interrupting my day of poor personal hygiene (yes, I am sitting here in my PJ’s sipping tea and preparing to write. I will NOT be getting dressed unless I have to) to let you know, Janet, that I am definitely SICK of Halloween cupcakes and I still have two weeks until this horrific holiday is over. Turned out nearly four hundred cupcakes with eyeballs, bats, pumpkins, you name it on them and I don’t care if I EVER see orange icing again! SHUDDER!

Off to translate some of that angst into my work!