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William the Conqueror$
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David Bates

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300118759

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300118759.001.0001

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Writing a Life of William the Conqueror

(p.1) Prologue
William the Conqueror

David Bates

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter details the background context behind the making of this book, from the author's motivations and influences to the approaches taken in writing the storied history of William the Conqueror. As well, the chapter dwells on the issues surrounding such a biography of William the Conqueror—William's life has always been, and will forever remain, a morally difficult subject. It brought about massive changes, but it did so at the expense of thousands of lives and was the cause of much misery. The chapter also sets out the framework for contextualising William's life within the Norman Conquest and the broader history of Europe.

Keywords:   William the Conqueror, ethical issues, biography, Norman Conquest, Middle Ages, historical controversies, David Douglas, Frank Barlow

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