The Normans is the history of a dynasty. It is also the history of ruthless ambition, rivalry and war between brothers and cousins. The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 was a critical moment in history. Following the death of Harold at the battle of Hastings, it established William, duke of Normandy, on the throne of England. By ending Anglo-Saxon rule, it tied England to Normandy and to involvement in France for the next five hundred years.
The Normans were pioneers of strong government, vigorous builders of church-es and castles, and fierce warriors. William l's death was followed by civil war and continued tension between England and Normandy, unresolved at the time of he death of William Rufus in a hunting accident in the New Forest in 1100. Peace under Henry I was followed by final eclipse after the Anarchy of Stephen's reign, when 'Christ and his saints slept'.