The Century of Calamity
England in the Long Eleventh Century
- T.D. Asch
15th October 2021
The Century of Calamity is the story of a nation's fall, and the men who caused it.
It is the story of how Æthelræd the Unready’s calamitous and vicious rule took England to the brink of collapse; of how Cnut subsumed the country within a northern empire, which disintegrated under his feckless sons; of how Edward the Confessor’s wise and prudent rule held the realm together for a quarter of a century; and of how William of Normandy destroyed its way of life forever. It is a story of conquest and of colonisation, of collaboration and of resistance. It is a story of cowardice and of bravery, of loyalty and of treachery. It is a tragic tale of lost heroes and lost causes.
And it is the story of how Harold Godwinson betrayed his wife and his brother in return for the ultimate prize, and the terrible consequences of that betrayal for his country, for his family, and for himself.