Godwine Kingmaker: Part One of The Last Great Saxon Earls
Godwine Kingmaker weaves a tale through three cultures, Saxon, Dane and Norman and through the lives of as many English Kings, including the inscrutable Dane Canute and the reluctant Edward the Confessor. Godwine walked a fine line between the demands of his peers and the destiny of his family, only to realize he had championed the wrong son.
Harold Godwineson, the Last Anglo-Saxon King, owed everything to his father. Who was this Godwine, first Earl of Wessex and known as the Kingmaker? Was he an unscrupulous schemer, using King and Witan to gain power? Or was he the greatest of all Saxon Earls, protector of the English against the hated Normans? We follow Godwine from his obscure beginnings as he was befriended by the Danes, favored by Canute the Great, given an Earldom and raised to the highest level of society. He sired nine children, among them four Earls, a Queen and a future King. Along with his power came a struggle to keep his enemies at bay, and Godwine's best efforts were brought down by the misdeeds of his eldest son Swegn. Although he became father-in-law to a reluctant Edward the Confessor, his fortunes dwindled as the Normans gained prominence at court. Driven into exile, Godwine regathered his forces and came back even stronger, only to discover that his second son Harold was destined to surpass him in renown and glory.
Books by Mercedes Rochelle
This is England in the days of Edward the Confessor, when Godwine and his sons tower over the other great families. Harold emerges as the power behind the throne. Tostig rules the north. They control all the earldoms except one. What could go wrong? We see tumultuous events of the mid-11th c. through the eyes of Godwine's sons. Alas, Harold’s rise in fortune is not blameless and sometimes those closest to him must pay the price of his fame.
Macbeth's witches had a purpose: to put the Stewarts on the throne of Scotland. The three Weird Sisters tell Banquo, "Thou Shalt 'Get Kings Though Thou Be None", and though Banquo is murdered, his son Fleance gets away. What happened to Fleance? As you will see, his flight was only the beginning, and his illegitimate son Walter inherited his destiny, bringing him back to Malcolm III’s Scotland, where Walter became the first Steward of Scotland.
To many, the name Tostig and Traitor are synonymous. But it was the sibling rivalry between Tostig and Harold that set up the circumstances leading to Stamford Bridge—and of course, put Harold in the wrong place at the wrong time when William landed at Pevensey. See how Harold's conflict with Tostig led directly to the Norman Conquest.