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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
My first volume was preliminary. I am now able to announce the exact extent and scheme of my book. My plan now extends to five volumes. The present volume takes in the first stage of the actual struggle between Normans and Englishmen, that is, the Reign of Eadward the Confessor. I begin with Eadward's election and I continue the narrative to his death. I take in also the early years of William in Normandy. In this period the struggle is not as yet a struggle of open warfare: it is a political struggle within the Kingdom of England. Harold and William gradually come to be leaders and representatives of their several nations; but they are not, during the time embraced in the present volume, brought into any actual hostile relation to
The third volume will, as far as England is concerned, be devoted to the single year 1066. But, along with the history of that great year, I shall have to trace the later years of William's Norman reign. The year itself is the time of actual warfare
between England and Normandy under their respective sovereigns. It embraces the reign of Harold and the interregnum which followed his death. I shall, in this volume, describe the election of Harold, the campaigns of Stamfordbridge and Hastings, and the formal completion of the Conquest by the acceptance and coronation of William as King of the English. Of this volume a considerable part is already written.
The fourth volume I shall devote to the reign of William in England. The Conquest, formally completed by his coronation, has now to be practically carried out throughout the land. The authority of William, already formally acknowledged, is gradually established over England; local resistance is overcome; the highest offices and the greatest landed estates throughout England are gradually transferred from natives to foreigners. Before William's death the work was thoroughly done, and the great Domesday Survey may be looked on as its record. The Conquest, in its immediate results, is now fully complete.
The second, third, and fourth volumes will therefore embrace the main narratives, the third being the centre of all. The fifth volume will answer to the first. It will be supplementary, as the first was preliminary. It will be devoted to the results of the Conquest, as the first was devoted to its causes. will not be necessary to prolong the detailed history beyond the death of William the Conqueror, but it will be necessary to give a sketch of the history down
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
to Edward the First in order to point out the stages by which the Norman settlers were gradually fused into the mass of the English nation. I shall also have to examine the permanent results of the Conquest on government, language, and the general condition of England.
I have again to give my best thanks for help of various kinds to several of the friends whom I spoke of in my first volume. To them I must now add Mr. Duffus Hardy and Mr. Edward Edwards. But, above all, I must again express my deep thanks to Professor Stubbs, not only for the benefit derived from his writings, but for his personal readiness to correct and to suggest on all points. Without his help, I may fairly say that this volume could not be what I trust it is.