William was the result of a love affair between the son of a duke and the daughter of a tanner; and the fact that he was a bastard overshadowed his early life until the day came when he ws proud of the title.
Fearless and as dominating as his Vikingancestors, he was born to rule, andmiraculously survived the dangerous years of his minority. His love for Matilda, Princess of Flanders, began when she scorned to marry a bastard unti he waylaid her and beat her into submission.
The love story of this ruthless man and the lively and unpredictable Princess who could be a devoted wife and yet play the traitor when her loyalties were divided, is one of the greatest of all time. They are seen, not only making history, but also in the centre of their domestic circle. Theirs was a fruitful marriage and among their children were Robert, so beloved by his mother, but who grew to hate his father; Richard, the son from whom they hoped so much and who was tragically taken from them; William, called Rufus, because of his ruddy complexion and red hair; Henry, the scholarly one. And among the girls were Cecilia, who was destined to take the veil, and the tragic Adelisa, who loved too well her father's enemy and rivalfor the crown of England.
Here are some of the most dramatic years in history when the handsome and charming Harold came into conflict with the dominating and determined Duke of Normandy and was forced to swear away his kingdome over the bones of long-dead saints; here is seen the treachery and cunning which led to the most fateful conflict in history.
At the centre of events are the royal husband and wife--Matilda, Princess and Queen, proud and vengeful, torn between her love for her husband and son; and William, the mightiest man of his age, Bastard, Conqueror and King.