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The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer

The Conqueror (1931)

by Georgette Heyer

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This historical novel actually stayed pretty true to the facts and did a good job of depicting William as both a great and charismatic man and a bit of an overreaching and greedy man. But this was not my favorite Georgette Heyer (Amy Wilson-I can't believe I just used the phrase "favorite Georgette Heyer"!) ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This historical novel actually stayed pretty true to the facts and did a good job of depicting William as both a great and charismatic man and a bit of an overreaching and greedy man. But this was not my favorite Georgette Heyer (Amy Wilson-I can't believe I just used the phrase "favorite Georgette Heyer"!) ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Georgette Heyer’s classic 1931 novel tells the story of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, and his rise to power alongside his wife Matilda. The story begins in 1028 with William's birth and continues to his coronation Christmas Day 1066, though most of the book is taken up with the battles for and around Normandy.

The Conqueror also tells the story of fictional Raoul de Harcourt, an idealistic young nobleman who believes William will bring stability and social justice to Normandy. As Raoul faithfully accompanies William in a series of adventures that leads ever-closer to a climactic account of the Battle of Hastings, we observe ambition, deliberate cruelty, and political blackmail. Alongside the myth, however, Heyer presents a William who owes much of his success to practical military innovations, including quick troop mobilization and trained archers.

If you hear the name, Georgette Heyer, you may think romance but there's actually very little here about the relationship between William and Matilda. The author does a great job with the historic detail of the battles, the clothes and the politics of the time. The portrayal of the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England is evenhanded and factual. The attention to detail is amazing and the sense of place and time is very atmospheric. On the downside, the old fashioned language makes it difficult for me to say there's any sort of flowing narrative. Nevertheless, The Conqueror delivers an enjoyable read and I recommend it to anyone interested in know more about the Conquest. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Georgette Heyer’s “The Conqueror” is a lengthy work of fiction based on the real life of England’s William I, following his rise to fame in Normandy, through to his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, culminating in his being crowned.

This novel is divided into five parts with a short prologue and an epilogue. Overall it proved a little too exhaustive for my tastes.

The first three parts have the occasional interesting or even entertaining moment, but mostly I felt bored by the mundane tone, or by sections that were over-detailed with little happening.

Come Part Four, however, the narrative picks up a gear with the Saxon Harold’s arrival in Normandy. Ms Heyer does a fine job of depicting this great warrior who became King Harold II of England. It’s hard to visualise or get to know most of the characters, though, as there are so many, making it difficult to remember who was who and such like.

Part Five is also of better quality, featuring the Battle of Hastings itself, which is well described. I feel that if the first three parts been heavily edited, while including more dialogue to help make the mainly lacklustre characters come to life, then this would’ve been a much more engaging piece of work.

By the end I was glad I resisted the temptation to give up reading, as it turned out better than I thought following the halfway stage, but I was equally glad to finish the book.

I rate this 3 stars – but only just! ( )
  PhilSyphe | Oct 11, 2014 |
I should actually put it on a shelf of half-read book. Could not finish it, since it turned out to be only a maze of conspiracies and wars, presented in very complex language of the era that made the reading weary.

This book is story of William the bastard, the Duke of Normandy (who used to sign as Bastardus' who became King of England after winning the battle of Hastings. Book features Raoul as his favorite and trusted man servant - I believe this was as much Raoul's story as it was William's. For my part, most interesting or rather shocking part of the book was where Matilda, a widow when presented with William's marriage offer refuses him in public court saying, 'she can not marry a base born'. William rides to her father's house in rage and whips her in her own father's house. Second time he proposes (he dares), Matilda marries him! I searched, Matilda and William are said to have a very productive marriage with about 10 kids who dd carry legacy. It is also said Matilda added a reason and reined in his cruelties, as is evident in increased cruelty under William the bastard's rule after death of his wife.

But God, after 10 days too, I had not finished the book. Do not regret it. ( )
  poonamsharma | Apr 6, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099490927, Paperback)

William the Bastard, base-born son of the Duke of Normandy, must fight the King of France to regain his Duchy. Spurned in love by the Princess Matilda, the fighting Duke dares to take a whip to her in her own father’s palace, before making her his bride. William the Conqueror sails to England to claim the Saxon King’s crown and sceptre for his own.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:58 -0400)

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This novel is the story of William the Conqueror. Thwarted by the Saxon Earl Harold of a promise of the throne of England, William the Conqueror sails to Hastings to claim the King's crown and sceptre for his own.

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