William the Conqueror: From Duke of Normandy to King of England with Alexander Wilson

William the Conqueror: From Duke of Normandy to King of England with Alexander Wilson


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At the untimely death of Robert the Magnificent in 1035, his illegitimate son William the Bastard became Duke of Normandy at the tender age of eight. This conversation will focus on his life, his battles, and his legacy that remains a strong part of European history today.

Surviving feudal in-fighting he gradually imposed his authority on his own territories, expanding them in the process, and found himself in a position to carry out a frankly aggressive foreign policy in the 1060s: at the death of Edward the Confessor in 1066, he backed his claim to the English throne with a full-blown and extraordinarily successful invasion. Victorious at the Battle of Hastings, he had himself crowned King of England in Westminster on Christmas Day 1066. William the Bastard had become William the Conqueror.

He would die at the age of 60, in 1087, having ruled over both Normandy and England with ruthless efficiency, laying the foundations of the later medieval English kingdom but also leaving a rich cultural legacy that lives on today. This seminar will look to tell the story, focussing on Normandy and William’s origins and power bases there. Still today the region is littered with historical reminders of its absolute heyday – castles, churches, artifacts – to such an extent that the Norman heritage is almost part of the scenery.

Led by Alex Wilson, local guide and historian who lives and works in William’s heartland, near Bayeux, this Context Conversation will also hopefully convey what a great place Normandy is to visit in the future.

Alex Wilson, a History First from Oxford, has been living and working in France for 35 years. After running his own publishing company, he has been guiding in Normandy (and for Context) for the last ten years. While his interests extend from William the Conqueror through to the post-War reconstruction, his main focus is on WW2 and the Battle of Normandy.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
75%
(3)
0%
(0)
25%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
D
D.J.
Bringing historic figures to life!
A
A.
A
A.
A
A.