Losing tip no. 16: 1066 and all that

AuthorThe Honourable Marvin Catzman
g March 2005
Lsing tip n. 16:
When we were in high school, our history teacher made
us read 1066 And All That.1 Although a small book, it was
majestically subtitled “A Memorable History of England,
comprising all the parts you can remember, including 103 Good Things,
5 Bad Kings and 2 Genuine Dates.”
One of the “2 Genuine Dates” was 1066.2 That was the year William
the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded and conquered England.3
At the Battle of Hastings, a Norman arrow mortally wounded the Anglo-
Saxon King Harold, and the English language proceeded o in a whole
new direction.4 For one of the principal consequences of the Norman
1 Walter C. Sellar and Robert J. Yeatman, 1066 And All That (London: Methuen, 1931).
2 The other was 55 .., when Julius Caesar landed at the Isle of Thanet with ten
thousand of his closest friends. The Romans hung around, o and on, until the
.. 400s, speaking a lot of Latin so that the locals wouldn’t understand what they
were saying. But the locals outsmarted them and learned a little Latin without let-
ting on: see note 6.
3 Hence the name “William the Conqueror.” Some people called King Harold
“Harold the Conqueree” for a while, but the name never stuck.
4 This is what our high school English teacher called a “cat-and-dog” sent ence, the
rst half of which appears to have nothing to do with the second half. But then
again, we always liked history more than we liked English: see note 12.

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