Book focuses on key battle of Stamford Bridge
Say 1066 and for most people that means the battle of Hastings and King Harold with an eye full of arrows, as shown in the Bayeux Tapestry.
But come back a few weeks earlier and it was the King of Norway – the Viking warrior Harald Hardrada – who had a central role to play in the eventual Norman invasion.
American author Don Hollway explains in his new book, The Last Viking, that Harald Hardrada’s men fought the English in the Battle of Stamford Bridge, which the natives won but which exhausted them before the clash at Hastings. .
The book was published ahead of the 955th anniversary of the Battle of Stamford Bridge (September 25).
Hollway said: “Harold Godwinson was ready to receive William the Conqueror, but he was distracted by this fight with Harald Hardrada, so it really was a pivotal few weeks in English history.”
Hollway’s story combines Nordic sagas, Byzantine tales, Anglo-Saxon chronicles, and even the verses and prose of King Harald.
The author, 62, worked in advertising, knew how to write, and decided over time that he would take the plunge.
“I received my advanced copies the other week and can honestly say it’s one of the biggest thrills of my life,” Hollway said. “I have always imagined this, and I am very happy and grateful to Osprey Publishing for giving me this chance. “