Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Great Debate: Eleven Norman Conquest Sources Duke It Out

Way back when, when I used to teach high school history, one of my favorite projects was the Norman Conquest Debate. I would split the class into two teams, give them a packet of primary sources, and have them prepare to argue that William or Harold was the rightful heir to the English throne. Given the chance, high schoolers can become amazingly impassioned on the subject of history. And one of the best ways to give them that chance is to let them work out history like a puzzle--to let them be a "historian" not just a "history student."

This week on English Historical Fiction Authors, I had the pleasure of doing a two-part post about the Norman Conquest. I shared eleven primary sources about the event and talked about the questions they raise. The first post, which came out yesterday, has generated quite a bit of fabulous discussion. It seems that blog readers can get just as impassioned about this subject as high schoolers. The second post was just added to the mix, but I'm afraid it adds more questions than it does conclusions. Enjoy!

"Harold made an oath to Duke William"
But what were the terms of the oath?
And was it under compulsion?

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