Is there a rogue time traveller on the loose out to change history?
"Jane, listen!" Darius said urgently. "Our time-travelling colleagues think there is a problem. Tell me, we've all studied history. Who won the Battle of Hastings?"
I forced myself to be calm and swallowed the lump of meat I had been chewing. Darius looked at me earnestly, awaiting my response. I had majored in the American Civil War but taken a few English history modules too. I gave him a curious look.
"King Harold of England, of course," I replied. "Harold Godwinson."
Darius raised an eyebrow and turned to Alex. The professor was clearly perturbed.
"From my time, the history books say differently," said Alex. "The victor was Duke William of Normandy, later known as William the first or the Conqueror. Harold himself was famously felled by an arrow in his eye. But..."
Darius raised his hand to silence him. He turned to Catherine, who looked puzzled.
"You're both wrong," she said. "It was Harold's brother Tostig. He agreed a truce with King Harold at Stamford Bridge, came south to help defeat the Normans and stabbed his brother in the back the moment William ordered his retreat. These are bloody times."
Alex frowned. "This makes no sense."
"History can be changed?" I remarked, surprised and alarmed.
"Fascinating," said Catherine. "Is this a pocket universe, perhaps?"
Darius shrugged. "Professor Garcia, did you speak with any of the locals?"
Alex frowned. "I did."
"So who won the battle?" I asked.
"Harald," he replied. I responded with a triumphant grin, then frowned upon seeing the sad shake of his head. "King Harald Hardrada, otherwise known as Harald the third of Norway. Duke William and Harold of England were reportedly both slain. It seems that Catherine was partly right, only Hardrada came with Tostig to fight with Harold Godwinson against William at Hastings. And who then seized the throne for himself."
"What?" I cried. Things were getting confusing. "Harald killed Harold?"
"That can't be right," protested Catherine. "England did not fall to the Vikings!"
Darius scowled. "William too was descended from Norse raiders," he pointed out, not bothering to hide his scorn. "So which version of history do you think is correct?"
Alex shrugged. "I haven't a clue. More importantly, can we fix it?"
So... did they? Follow Jane's adventure in THE BATTLES OF HASTINGS!
CHAPTER TITLES: Foreword: The Memoirs of Catastrophe Jane / An Unexpected Gathering / The Battle Of Stamford Bridge / Pevensey Bay / The Witching Hour / Another Battle of Hastings.
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