I don't do book reviews on this blog, mainly because I don't know how to do them.
Despite having a Twitter account I don't particularly like Twitter; - I don't see the point of saying something in 140 characters that one could stretch into a 3 hour sermon!
If I was to join both of these failings together I would probably tweet Wow what a great read or What a croc of sh**; as a response to most of the books that I have read.I have been offered a free copy of a book to review on this blog. I won't take the offer up, if I did I would be obliged to say something more than wow/croc about it; but as the publishers were so kind as to make the offer and the subject is my many times great grandfather I'll give it a free plug!
How the murder of Wales’ Greatest king transformed the history of Britain on the eve of the Battle of Hastings
Gruffudd ap Llywelyn is one of those relatively unknown figures that deserves a lot more recognition in the annals of history. Born in northern-Wales in the early part of the eleventh century, Gruffudd would go on to seize an unprecedented amount of influence in a ruthless ascent to power. After forcibly unifying all of Wales and claiming the title of ‘king’, Gruffudd successfully attacked the English with the help of a Viking contingent. Gruffudd would get as far as Hereford before burning the city and returning home. These acts forced King Edward the Confessor to seek peace.
Harold, earl of Wessex (later King Harold I) would later take the fight to Gruffudd and in 1063 forced the King to flee his homeland. He was later betrayed and beheaded by his own men, forebears of the princes who have entered history as Wales’ national heroes. The Welsh were left in chaos on the eve of the arrival of the Normans. The death of the last king of Wales would nevertheless also lead to the downfall at Hastings of England’s last Anglo-Saxon king, Harold II.
• The first popular account of the only king to rule all of Wales as a single country and also the last king of the ancient Britons
• Provides a fresh perspective on the events that lead to the Norman Conquest
• Contains original research and little-known illustrations
Michael and Sean Davies each hold a PhD in mediaeval history, and both have published books and articles on Welsh history. Michael runs a company which gives historical tours of Wales and Sean is a writer and editor for the BBC in Cardiff. They both live in Wales.