Reign of King Harold II

(1298 words)
  • Steve Flanders (Queen's University Belfast)

Historical Context Essay

Harold Godwinson ruled as Harold II, King of the English, for just over eight months; from early January, 1066 until his death at the battle of Hastings on the 14th October. The depiction of his demise in the Bayeux Tapestry, desperately clutching the fatal arrow which pierced his head, remains one of the most instantly-recognisable images portraying this period and influences modern perceptions. Harold tends to be remembered for his final failure and defeat rather than his political and military successes before that fateful year.

Harold was born sometime before 1020. His father was Earl Godwin of Wessex, an Anglo-Saxon who, nevertheless, rose to prominence as a regional ruler and administrator under England's new …

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Flanders, Steve. "Reign of King Harold II". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 July 2006
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Reigns and Monarchy in the British Isles