I have just read ‘Poirot’ by David Suchet and portrayed by David to great effect on television with the murders and the denoument, set in the 1930s, but still with that hint that they are a fictional story.
Simenon’s great French detective Maigret has that air of authenticity, painting a picture of France from smoke filled bars, smog on the Seine, anarchists and nobility and a Parisian night life that reveals all human weakness. I have read all but one of the seventy-six titles and followed the stories from murder to solution.
And there lies the crux of most murder mysteries, the body and the solution.
The death of King Harold II is a murder mystery that would test the powers of Poirot’s little grey cells and of Maigret’s tenacity for we can only speculate about what happened on that battlefield and there is debate even about the site of the battle.
1066 Harold’s Way quotes:
‘Looking at the evidence of the Bayeux Tapestry, it once seemed, that Harold had been killed by an arrow in the eye but after further examination experts believe that Harold was beheaded and his legs hacked off as a warning to the Saxon people’ .
1066 Harold’s Way does not churn out the hackneyed ‘arrow in the eye’ theory but sees the ridge at Senlac Hill as the most logical and strategic position for Harold’s Army and uses the widely held view of the Norman account of the battle to back up this version.
This ridge that stretched from Senlac Hill to Caldbec Hill was crucial to William’s ability to strike into England. If he had been defeated, he would have retreated back to the Hastings peninsular, virtually surrounded by water and with winter supply lines stretched and an army to feed, an embarrassing return to France was entirely probable.
What happened after the Battle of Hastings will be explored in more detail in 1066 Harold’s Way, The Final Journey.
It is a walk that will trace the events of what could have happened after the battle, taken from Norman accounts written at the time and from later 12th century histories that was written from stories handed down over the generations.
It is a complex web of money and power but just to throw something else into the battle, there is a legend that King Harold escaped……..!
Written in response to an Amazon review.