A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER
A messenger stops at a pub in Southern England to relax and enjoy the evening sun. He is met by an older gentleman who captivates him with a story. The story is told from a firsthand witness to the Norman Invasion. The man was a participant, behind the scenes, with royalty and peasantry alike. He traveled the length and breadth of Western Europe and tells his tale about the people and places behind the man known as William the Conqueror.
Along with the story teller there are several important people that the story revolves around. The first is a soldier who rises to nobility. Gaston Reinold is a soldier in a local nobleman’s army. He is as much responsible for the events of the Norman Invasion of England, as anyone else at the time. He will become the most important man in one of the most momentous events in European History.
Back in Normandy, Gaston teaches William the arts of war, law, and manners. This is all accomplished in the home of a minor nobleman, friendly to Gaston. In this home Gaston and his lieutenant, Simon Lovell, train and educate William so he can take over as the Duke of Normandy and ultimately become King of England. William learns how to fight and how to govern. William learns his lessons well, but show signs of petulance and being a spoiled young man.
While Reinold is attending to wars and revolts in Normandy, the messenger is preparing to make the alliance with the King of Norway, and the King of Spain. The messenger has been in the Spanish court for many years but now he has to leave Spain and must present an alliance treaty to William and to the Norse King.
William is eager to invade Britain and assume his rightful place on the throne. But his old rival, the King of Norway has other plans. Treachery is a way of life and although King Harald Hardrada of Norway is related to every other royal person, he schemes to take the island of England on his own. He loses a major battle and his Viking soldiers are slaughtered.
The King of England must now go face William and his invading army at a place called Hasting. William successfully takes control of Britain. The battles are short lived due to the state that the English army has fallen into. That and the appearance of archers and mounted heavy cavalry completely route the English defenders.
This is a true love story. It is a story of common people, with common problems and History records the many battles, but this story explains why they happened the way they did and shows how history could have been changed significantly had just one event occurred differently.