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Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England. It took place 7 miles northwest of Hastings, close to the present-day town of Battle, East Sussex, was a decisive Norman victory; the background to the battle was the death of the childless King Edward the Confessor in January 1066, which set up a succession struggle between several claimants to his throne. Harold was crowned king shortly after Edward's death, but faced invasions by William, his own brother Tostig, the Norwegian King Harald Hardrada. Hardrada and Tostig defeated a hastily gathered army of Englishmen at the Battle of Fulford on 20 September 1066, were in turn defeated by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge five days later; the deaths of Tostig and Hardrada at Stamford Bridge left William as Harold's only serious opponent. While Harold and his forces were recovering, William landed his invasion forces in the south of England at Pevensey on 28 September 1066 and established a beachhead for his conquest of the kingdom.

Harold was forced gathering forces as he went. The exact numbers present at the battle are unknown; the composition of the forces is clearer. Harold appears to have tried to surprise William, but scouts found his army and reported its arrival to William, who marched from Hastings to the battlefield to confront Harold; the battle lasted from about 9 am to dusk. Early efforts of the invaders to break the English battle lines had little effect. Harold's death near the end of the battle, led to the retreat and defeat of most of his army. After further marching and some skirmishes, William was crowned as king on Christmas Day 1066. There continued to be rebellions and resistance to William's rule, but Hastings marked the culmination of William's conquest of England. Casualty figures are hard to come by, but some historians estimate that 2,000 invaders died along with about twice that number of Englishmen. William founded a monastery at the site of the battle, the high altar of the abbey church placed at the spot where Harold died.

In 911, the Carolingian ruler Charles the Simple allowed a group of Vikings to settle in Normandy under their leader Rollo. Their settlement proved successful, they adapted to the indigenous culture, renouncing paganism, converting to Christianity, intermarrying with the local population. Over time, the frontiers of the duchy expanded to the west. In 1002, King Æthelred II married the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy, their son Edward the Confessor spent many years in exile in Normandy, succeeded to the English throne in 1042. This led to the establishment of a powerful Norman interest in English politics, as Edward drew on his former hosts for support, bringing in Norman courtiers and clerics and appointing them to positions of power in the Church. Edward was childless and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex, his sons, he may have encouraged Duke William of Normandy's ambitions for the English throne. King Edward's death on 5 January 1066 left no clear heir, several contenders laid claim to the throne of England.

Edward's immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, the richest and most powerful of the English aristocrats and son of Godwin, Edward's earlier opponent. Harold was elected king by the Witenagemot of England and crowned by Ealdred, the Archbishop of York, although Norman propaganda claimed that the ceremony was performed by Stigand, the uncanonically elected Archbishop of Canterbury. Harold was at once challenged by two powerful neighbouring rulers. Duke William claimed that he had been promised the throne by King Edward and that Harold had sworn agreement to this. Harald Hardrada of Norway contested the succession, his claim to the throne was based on an agreement between his predecessor Magnus the Good and the earlier King of England Harthacnut, whereby, if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway. William and Harald Hardrada set about assembling troops and ships for separate invasions. In early 1066, Harold's exiled brother Tostig Godwinson raided southeastern England with a fleet he had recruited in Flanders joined by other ships from Orkney.

Threatened by Harold's fleet, Tostig raided in East Anglia and Lincolnshire. He was driven back to his ships by the brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia and Morcar, Earl of Northumbria. Deserted by most of his followers, he withdrew to Scotland, where he spent the middle of the year recruiting fresh forces. Hardrada invaded northern England in early September, leading a fleet of more than 300 ships carrying 15,000 men. Hardrada's army was further augmented by the forces of Tostig, who supported the Norwegian king's bid for the throne. Advancing on York, the Norwegians occupied the city after defeating a northern English army under Edwin and Morcar on 20 September at the Battle of Fulford; the English army was organised along regional lines, with the fyrd, or local levy, serving under a local magnate – whether an earl, bishop, or sheriff. The fyrd was composed of men who owned their own land, were equipped by their community to fulfil the king's demands for military for

Green Park

The Green Park known without the definite article as Green Park, is one of the Royal Parks of London. It is located in the City of Central London. First enclosed in 16th century, it was landscaped in 1820 and is notable among central London parks for having no lakes or buildings, only minimal flower planting in the form of naturalised narcissus. Green Park covers just over 40 acres between St. James's Park. Together with Kensington Gardens and the gardens of Buckingham Palace, these parks form an unbroken stretch of open land reaching from Whitehall and Victoria station to Kensington and Notting Hill. In contrast with its neighbouring parks, Green Park has no lakes, no buildings, no playgrounds, few monuments, having only the Canada Memorial by Pierre Granche, the Diana of the Treetops Fountain by Estcourt J Clack, the RAF Bomber Command Memorial by Philip Jackson; the park consists entirely of mature trees rising out of turf. The park is bounded on the south by Constitution Hill, on the east by the pedestrian Queen's Walk, on the north by Piccadilly.

It meets St. James's Park at Queen's Gardens with the Victoria Memorial at its centre, opposite the entrance to Buckingham Palace. To the south is the ceremonial avenue of the Mall, the buildings of St James's Palace and Clarence House overlook the park to the east. Green Park Underground station is a major interchange located on Piccadilly and Jubilee lines near the north end of Queen's Walk. Tyburn stream runs beneath Green Park; the park is said to have been swampy burial ground for lepers from the nearby hospital at St James's. It was first enclosed in 16th century. In 1668, an area of the Poulteney estate known as Sandpit Field was surrendered to Charles II, who made the bulk of the land into a Royal Park as "Upper St James's Park" and enclosed it with a brick wall, he laid out the park's main walks and built an icehouse there to supply him with ice for cooling drinks in summer. The Queen's Walk was laid out for George II's queen Caroline. At the time, the park was on the outskirts of London and remained an isolated area well into the 18th century, when it was known as a haunt of highwaymen and thieves.

Prime Minister Horace Walpole was one of many to be robbed there. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was a popular place for ballooning attempts and public firework displays; the park was known as a duelling ground. In 1820, John Nash landscaped the park, as an adjunct to St. James's Park. On 10 June 1840, it was the scene of Edward Oxford's assassination attempt on Queen Victoria, on Constitution Hill; the Royal Parks website: The Green Park Virtual journey into Green Park

The Ancestor's Tale

The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life is a science book by Richard Dawkins and Yan Wong on the subject of evolution, which follows the path of humans backwards through evolutionary history, describing some of humanity's cousins as they converge on their common ancestors. It was first published in 2004, updated in 2016; the book was nominated for the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books. The book takes a different path backwards through evolution and meets different groupings of organisms; the authors use backward chronology instead of forward chronology as a way of celebrating the unity of life. In a backward chronology, the ancestors of any set of species must meet at a particular moment; the last common ancestor is the one that they all share which the authors call a "concestor". The oldest concestor is the ancestor of all surviving life forms on this planet; the evidence for this is that all organisms was not invented twice. There is no sign of other independent origins of life and if new ones would now arise, they would be eaten.

This book is a pilgrimage to discover our ancestors and meet other pilgrims who join as the book reaches a common ancestor that man shares with them. The reader meets 40 rendezvous before hitting the origin of life itself; the book's structure is inspired by its pilgrims. For instance, the axolotl never needs to mature, how new species come about, how hard it is to classify animals, why our fish-like ancestors moved to the land; the authors use the term concestor, coined by Nicky Warren:11, for the most recent common ancestor at each rendezvous point. At each rendezvous point, we meet the concestor of ourselves and the listed species or collection of species; this does not mean. From the lancelets onward, The authors provide dates under duress stating that, "dating becomes so difficult and controversial that my courage fails me". There are important differences between the 2nd editions of the book in this section. Another rendezvous has been added and the unknown rendezvous has been resolved; this is a shorter section in the second edition.

The authors describe the important beginnings of eukaryotic cells and describes the endosymbiotic theory proposed by Lynn Margulis. Prokaryotes can move genetic material between unicellular and/or multicellular organisms other than by the transmission of DNA from parent to offspring by way of Horizontal gene transfer; the authors elaborate at length about the possible origins of life through RNA world, Enterobacteria phage Qbeta, Miller–Urey experiment, Spiegelman's Monster and the possible hypercycle of DNA, RNA, enzymes which work together to support each other in a primordial world.:661 Carl Zimmer of New York Times stated that the book is one of the best to understand evolutionary trees. The Guardian thought it was awkward to move backward in time starting from humans and required linguistic gymnastics with new definitions of before and after a certain evolutionary point. Matt Ridley at The Guardian liked the approach of a Chaucer Pilgrim traveling backwards and the perspective of not seeing other animals as failures.

Czech: Příběh předka Dutch: Het verhaal van onze voorouders French: Il était une fois nos ancêtres German: Geschichten vom Ursprung des Lebens Hungarian: Az Ős meséje – Zarándoklat az élet hajnalához Italian: Il racconto dell'antenato Korean: 조상 이야기 Persian: داستان نیاکان Polish: The Ancestor’s Tale Portuguese: A grande história da evolução Spanish: Historia de nuestros ancestros Turkish: Ataların hikâyesi Serbian: Priče naših predaka Russian: Рассказ предка The diagrams in the book are similar to this zoomable and interactive evolutionary tree of life. Evolutionary history of life Phylogenetic tree Timeline of evolution Timeline of human evolution Video introduction by Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins talks to Ira Flatow on "Science Friday" Family and kid's experiential programs based on Ancestors Tale, by Connie Barlow, with video and scripts