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1066 is the most known year in English history, and the most intriguing.  It represents a key turning point: a year in which everything was up for grabs, a year in which England's historical story could have gone any number of ways - a year of ‘what ifs’.

What if King Edward's great-nephew, Edgar, had been thought old enough to rule, and chosen as king? What if the Northern Earls has defeated the Norwegian, Harald Hardrada and King Harold's own brother, Tostig, at Gate Fulford - or what if Harald Hardrada had won the Battle of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire? What if Harold had defeated the Normans at sea? What if Svein of Denmark had invaded or a mysterious European political power had intervened? What if William had died when he was unhorsed at Hastings or had been defeated at London Bridge in November? What if the Bayeux Tapestry carries a hidden, secret meaning about the truth of 1066 - or a time  machine could alter the past?

So much could have been different and now, at last, we can explore some of those 'what ifs' in this exciting collection of ‘virtual history’ short stories, written by known and loved writers of the period (and a few from outside it)  to celebrate the 950th anniversary of this incredible year.

Our authors are:

Helen Hollick, author of multiple historical and pirate novels, including Harold the King
Joanna Courtney, author of the Queens of the Conquest series 
and
Anna Belfrage, Historical Novel Society Indie Award Winner 2015, author of the Graham Saga 
Richard Dee, fantasy author of Ribbonworld 
G K Holloway, author of 1066: What Fates Impose 
Carol McGrath, author of The Daughters of Hastings trilogy
Alison Morton, author of the Roma Nova thrillers 
Eliza Redgold, author of Naked, a novel of Lady Godiva 
Annie Whitehead, is a history graduate and writes about Mercia and Saxon England

with a foreword by writer and actor, C.C. Humphreys

The collection includes historical notes of what really did happen alongside the fictional re-interpretations, as well as authors' notes on what fascinates them about 1066 and why they chose to 'change' what they did.

Each story has a few suggestions for 'discussion' points for schools, writer's groups - or just your own curiosity!


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Top row L-R Joanna, Anna, Helen, Alison
next row: Eliza, Richard, Carole, G.K. Holloway, Annie

Cover and graphics designed by Cathy Helms, www.avalongraphics.org

Original stock image ©wjarek - Fotolia

Why should you care about 1066?

A fascinating series of posts from the BBC







"On the 28 September 1066, around 7,000 soldiers from Northern France landed on the Sussex coast. Led by William, the Duke of Normandy, they were soon to launch a battle that would become one of the most famous in all of English History – the Battle of Hastings.

The bloody day of fighting on the 14 October proved to be a cataclysmic event in English history: a decisive turning point which transformed England forever.

The legacy of this brutal conquest - the last time England was successfully invaded – pervades many aspects of our language and culture today."

Professor Robert Bartlett

Start the posts here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zx2c4j6

History? Um, we know the ending...

Alison Morton looks at writing the 'backstory' to events, what we now called history...

 ... We know what happened in the past. We know who won, and lost.

 Look back at 1066. Much as we may dream/speculate about a Saxon England beyond that date (see 1066 Turned Upside Down), it didn’t happen. So when Helen Hollick wrote Harold the King, she couldn’t alter the outcome. But I was so caught up by the writing and characters, I was as optimistic as any Saxon that they would prevail. But in my logical brain I knew the outcome – it was probably the first date I learnt in school. However, it didn’t stop me enjoying the story.

Carry on reading...


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIOPERFIDITAS,SUCCESSIO and AURELIA. The fifth in the series, INSURRECTIO, was published in April 2016. Find out Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways by signing up for her free monthly email newsletter.

Revolutionising 1066

1066 is the most known year in English history, and the most intriguing. Whether you support Saxon Harold or Norman William, it represents a key turning point: a year in which England’s historical story could have gone any number of ways – a year of ‘what ifs’. Turning the outcome of the Battle of Hastings on its head and considering other outcomes would be a revolution indeed.

Alison Morton explores some of the possible alternative outcomes in her guest post on Unusual Historicals...

The trouble with time travel (and writing about it).

The trouble with time travel (and writing about it).

By Richard Dee.


I'm ploughing a lonely furrow here, a Science Fiction writer surrounded by Historical Fiction of sumptuous quality. I chose to write Sci-fi for two reasons, first because it's always fascinated me and second because, being inherently lazy, I thought that it would need less research. After all, how can you research the future? I was wrong but that's another story.

Which brings me to time travel, now there’s a subject to set you thinking. Whether it’s Back to The Future, The Terminator or The Time Travellers Wife we all love the idea of time travel. After all, there are bound to be things in all our pasts that we would secretly love to change? 

There must be something you wish you had done differently; if you only had a chance. If you could invent some kind of machinery to transport you, or discover the knack, even better if you were born with the ability. And the possibility of actually observing history would get a lot of people excited. I suspect that a lot of textbooks would also need to be re-written.


The Time Machine (1960), H.G.Wells.

But would it be as simple as all that? Surely there must be rules to follow to stop you unwittingly destroying civilisation as we know it?

Everyone knows you can’t kill your grandparents before they became your parent’s parents and that anything that you might change can cause all sorts of things that you never expected. Watch The Butterfly Effect to see what I mean.

So care would be advisable if you actually could travel back in time. Things might not work out like you expect.

And how about writing about time travel, is it just another job for your average writer or is there more to it than that? 

If you want to know more; on my website I've written a longer article on the subject. As a bonus, there's another time travel short story available at the end of the post. Just click this link to go straight there.

Find out more about Richard Dee at richarddeescifi.co.uk


Read one of Richard's stories in 1066 Turned Upside Down available NOW as an e-book! Click here to be redirected to an Amazon near you CLICK HERE
(also available for other e-readers) 



OUT NOW

Let's raise a virtual glass of champagne 
and give three hearty cheers for 

1066 Turned Upside Down
released as an e-book today!



eleven 'what if' stories for the year 1066 
what more needs to be said?
Except
your copy is waiting for you!

(also available on other e-readers)  
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we hope you enjoy our stories

Historical Novel Society Review
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longlisted, but exempt from the award