Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Could have been so much more...
steveh64 | Matthews, NC USA | 07/22/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is a disappointment which had the potential to be much better than it is.....
First, the good points: it provides an adequate overview of the Battle's background, which begins around the start of the 11th century. Dr. David Chandler is an informed and authoritative commentator, pointing out for instance how both sides made use of horses, but the English only for transportation while the Normans fought on horseback as well. Readings from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the writings of William of Poitiers - both contemporary with the Battle - are welcome additions, as are scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry.....
The disappointment lies in the fact that so little relevant information is presented visually in what is largely a video medium. In short, there is no reason to have made this program in DVD format as opposed to a printed book, and little would be lost in an audio book format. Oh, there are some rather chaotic battle scenes by a re-enactment group, but they serve to explain little if anything over and above the commentary. They are more in the nature of computer-screen wallpaper. And there is an actor portraying Harold Godwinson who merely wanders around staring at things as though in a daze. (Watch this and ask yourself: does this guy look like someone who could have led the English to victory over Harald Hardrada at Stamford Bridge?).....
But the bulk of the material in this DVD is presented verbally. Where certain aspects would have benefited from visual depictions, the opportunities were ignored - for example, to show the various troop placements relative to one another, or to trace the routes of Harold's march to the north to confront Hardrada and then south again to fight Duke William at Hastings. But no, not a single diagram or map for context. And as for the "computer graphics" promised in the blurb on the DVD box, there are none that I recall.....
Finally, there is one glaring error in the narrator's statements. After first implying that Aethelred the Unready and Aethelred II were two different kings (they are in fact one and the same), Aethelred is then called "a Danish king". This would indeed have been news to the Anglo-Saxon Aethelred, who ordered the St. Brice's Day massacre of all Danes in England in 1002!.....
Instead of this DVD, I suggest getting one of the many excellent books covering the Norman Conquest - to name just one, David Howarth's "1066: The Year of the Conquest" - and supplementing it with an edition of the Bayeux Tapestry such as David M. Wilson's book, or the Bayeux Tapestry Digital Edition on CD-ROM, or even one of the quite good (and free) web sites on the B.T. which include commentary."
Useful in History Class
Eileen Cunningham | Wichita, KS United States | 11/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have used several DVDs in the History of Warfare series in my classroom and consider them a welcome addition to educational media. My students liked this one more than some of the others, but, like other reviewers, I wish maps had been included. I teach at a classical school, so my students can read Latin, and they had fun translating the Latin in the Bayeaux Tapestry as the camera scanned from left to right."
What you didn't know about the "Battle of Hastings"
Eamon Von Pramba | Perkiomenville, PA, USA | 05/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this DVD is exceptionally informative and documentive. I never realized that there were actually 2 phases of the battle; one against Harold and his Vikings, and the other against William and his Norman forces. The DVD is historically accurate; you will not be disappointed if you purchase this DVD...it is a must for history buffs ! ! !"