I decided that I wanted to carry one or two physical books around with me for when I didn’t want to be flashing Clifford about. So in London I picked up 3 small books for a total of 5 pounds and I will exchange them with books in other hostel book stashes as I go along.
I picked up 1066 and Rather More: A Walk Through History on a whim. Written by Huon Mallalieu, it chronicles his successful attempt to walk the 260 miles King Harold’s army is thought to have walked to reach the Battle of Hastings in 12 days. They went from York to the site six miles from Hastings where the battle of Hastings was fought. Mallalieu does a pretty good job grounding in all the history. The slew of names are a little bit confusing and the handy glossary was useful. The book is basically a description of his walk intermingled with historical facts and reflections on the English life. Overall, the book was perfect for me given how I am traveling at present and as I am going back to England pretty soon. I enjoyed the gentle refresher on some of the history as well as learning some really interesting tidbits like how the battle of Hastings was actually fought 6 miles away at a place now called Battle. Surely to war buffs this fact is already known but it was new to me. I also enjoyed how he spoke about all the other claimants for the English throne at the time. (For those who don’t know, the Battle of Hastings is the battle that got William the Conqueror the throne of England more or less.) However, I think I can see why this book was at the discount bookstore…it really is a bit slow and best suited to a travel book for when you are on train or in lines. I don’t know that I would really have read it at any other time.
I think this book will be left in an English hostel for some other traveler.