When Harold Godwinson is crowned King of England in 1066, William of Normandy contests his right to be king because of an oath Harold had earlier sworn to support William’s own acquisition of the throne. Henty’s treatment of this critical time in history of the English people is even-handed and his portrayal of Harold Godwinson – a king much neglected in our day – is a sympathetic one. Wulf of Steyning a young Saxon thane in the service of Earl Harold, accompanies him on his fateful trip to Normandy, takes part in the Welsh wars, the Battle of Stamford Bridge, and the Battle of Hastings. Growing to manhood in such tumultuous times, Wulf’s fidelity and honor earn him the respect of all he serves.
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