Exploring the successful Norman invasion of England in 1066, this concise and readable book focuses especially on the often dramatic and enduring changes wrought by William the Conqueror and his followers. From the perspective of a modern social historian, Hugh M. Thomas considers the conquest's wide-ranging impact by taking a fresh look at such traditional themes as the influence of battles and great men on history and by assessing how far the shift in ruling dynasty and noble elites affected broader aspects of English history. The results, Thomas convincingly shows, are both complex and surprising. In some areas where one might expect profound influence, such as government institutions, there was little change. In other respects, such as the indirect transformation of the English language, the conquest had profound and lasting effects that transformed society as a whole. With its combination of exciting narrative and clear analysis, this book will capture student interest in a range of courses on medieval and Western history.