Every time I have ever heard about William, Duke of Normandy and the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 I have heard the name William the Conqueror. Never had I imagined that there was another name that was applied to this man – that of William the Bastard. I thought it would be interesting to look at the development of these names and their usage in literature.
William the Bastard
In I Am The Chosen King by Helen Hollick, William is frequently referred to as The Bastard. I have a theory (not wholly supported) that those who are writing literature from a pro Saxon viewpoint might be more likely to refer to William as The Bastard because of him taking over the throne of England. He also wasn’t a very nice guy, so I could see the name sticking for other reasons too.
William the Conqueror
Obviously both of these names were used in describing the man and both are fitting names. Is one more right than the other? I don’t think so. Does the usage of one name over the other in literature suggest a leaning of the author? I think it is certainly possible. What are your thoughts on this?
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