Archives: The Sons of Godwine

My review of HAROLD II: The Doomed Saxon King by Peter Rex

November 28, 2015 by Mercedes Rochelle | 6 Comments | Filed in Book Reviews, The Sons of Godwine

I’m not quite sure where I would put this volume in my own line-up of pre-conquest history books. On the one hand, it covered the issues intelligently and carefully. On the other hand, many of the major books he cites in his bibliography are already on my bookshelf…especially the 20th century sources. So on the […]

The Children of Harold Godwineson

March 15, 2015 by Mercedes Rochelle | 19 Comments | Filed in General Topics, The Sons of Godwine

Like much of the eleventh century, the fate of Harold’s children is somewhat vague. We have a pretty good idea about the immediate years after the Battle of Hastings, but with the exception of Harold’s daughter Gytha we don’t exactly know what happened to them. Harold’s long relationship with his handfasted wife Edith Swanneck produced […]

Did Harold die from an Arrow in the Eye?

February 17, 2015 by Mercedes Rochelle | 10 Comments | Filed in Battle of Hastings, 1066, The Sons of Godwine

The Bayeux Tapestry gave us an iconic image of Harold pulling an arrow from his eye. It must be Harold: the name is embroidered around his head and spear. And since the Tapestry is created so close in time to the actual event, it is considered one of the major sources of documentation and hence […]

Map of Stamfordbridge Campaign

January 18, 2015 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in General Topics, The Sons of Godwine

Once again I stumbled across a very helpful map in Volume 3 of Freeman’s History of the Norman Conquest. In my mind I had trouble locating the relative locations of these important spots so this is very helpful to me. The sequence of events: 1) Harald Hardrada lands at Riccall, leaving his fleet there. The […]

Did Edward the Confessor give the crown to Duke William?

November 4, 2014 by Mercedes Rochelle | 2 Comments | Filed in General Topics, The Sons of Godwine, William the Conqueror

In my mind, this is one of the most provocative questions of the Middle Ages. In 1066, Duke William acted with the surety of someone who believed in what he was doing. To take such a big risk, he must have had good reason. William did not have a drop of royal blood in him, […]

Review of “The House of Godwine” by Emma Mason

October 20, 2014 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in Book Reviews, Earl Godwine of Wessex, General Topics, The Sons of Godwine

The House of Godwine: The History of a Dynasty by Emma Mason My rating: 5 of 5 stars I read this book some months ago, and today, as I was looking up a detail for more clarification, I realized that this volume was full of paper slips marking important passages. Then I realized I never […]

Where is Harold Godwineson Buried?

October 16, 2014 by Mercedes Rochelle | 4 Comments | Filed in The Sons of Godwine

Despite the recent brouhaha about scanning the grounds of Waltham Abbey for the body of Harold, the even more recent theory that he lies in one of four tombs under St Michael’s Church in Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, or the ongoing conjecture that he survived the battle in obscurity, I wonder if they might be looking in […]

William the Conqueror’s Landing, 1066

May 10, 2014 by Mercedes Rochelle | 4 Comments | Filed in Battle of Hastings, 1066, General Topics, The Sons of Godwine, William the Conqueror

I remember my first trip to England somewhere around 1990 or so.  I headed directly south to Hastings, for I had been studying about the great event and wanted to see the battlefield for myself.  Of course, travel itineraries were much harder to plan in those days, but I saw no reason to doubt that I […]

Swegn Godwineson, Evil or Tragic?

November 17, 2011 by Mercedes Rochelle | 12 Comments | Filed in Earl Godwine of Wessex, The Sons of Godwine

Swegn was the eldest son of a prolific family.  His father, Godwine of Wessex, worked his way up from relative obscurity to the most powerful Earl in the country. Swegn’s future could have been assured if only he had behaved himself and not acted like a rogue and an outlaw. He was the only one […]

Harold Godwineson in Normandy 1064

July 28, 2011 by Mercedes Rochelle | 16 Comments | Filed in General Topics, The Sons of Godwine, William the Conqueror

Harold’s ill-fated trip to Normandy has sparked much debate among historians. Why did he go? How much damage did it cause? One thing is certain: Harold and William were far from strangers by the time they met on the battlefield of Hastings. It is thought by some that Harold was on a fishing trip in […]