William the Conqueror was one of the great medieval warrior-kings. In fact, he set the standard for the next 500 years of English kingship. In war, he was undefeated, but in many ways he was unconventional, and plagued by family troubles and constant rebellion. His talent for administration produced a survey of England that it would take centuries to replicate, and his audacity (and a combination of strategy and luck) put a family on the throne that lasted for a thousand years.

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