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By Sarah Foot

The strong and cutting edge King ?thelstan reigned in simple terms in short (924-939), but his achievements in the course of these eventful fifteen years replaced the process English background. He gained fantastic army victories (most significantly at Brunanburh), solid unheard of political connections throughout Europe, and succeeded in growing the 1st unified nation of the English. to say for him the identify of "first English monarch" is not any exaggeration.In this nuanced portrait of ?thelstan, Sarah Foot bargains the 1st complete account of the king ever written. She strains his existence during the a number of spheres within which he lived and labored, starting with the intimate context of his relatives, then extending outward to his strange multiethnic royal court docket, the Church and his state, the wars he carried out, and at last his dying and legacy. Foot describes a worldly guy who used to be not just an excellent army chief but additionally a helpful king. He ruled brilliantly, constructed artistic how you can venture his picture as a ruler, and devised strategic marriage treaties and present exchanges to cement alliances with the best royal and ducal homes of Europe. ?thelstan's legacy, visible within the new gentle of this masterful biography, is inextricably attached to the very forging of britain and early English identification.

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Quite what happened to Ælfwynn hereafter is unclear; see below, 59. Henry of Huntingdon’s account neatly characterized Edward’s motives, reporting that he acted with regard to expediency rather than to justice when he disinherited his niece of the lordship of the Mercians: HH, v. 17, 308–9. 21 Alex Woolf, From Pictland to Alba 789–1070 (Edinburgh, 2007), 145. T. Wainwright, ‘The Submission to Edward the Elder’ (1952), reprinted in Scandinavian England, ed. R. Finberg (Chichester, 1975), 352. P.

Following Alfred’s decisive victory over an invading Danish army in 878, Wessex the southernmost English kingdom – then stretching from Kent in the east to Cornwall in the west and as far north as the River Thames – had experienced a prolonged period of peace. In the years after 878, King Alfred had extended his realm north of the traditional boundary of Wessex, acquiring control of London and also of the western part of the midland kingdom of England, Mercia. At the time of Æthelstan’s birth, Mercia was governed as a dependency of Wessex by Ealdorman Æthelred, who had married Alfred’s daughter Æthelflæd and ruled the midland kingdom under his father-in-law’s overlordship.

P. Smyth, Scandinavian York and Dublin, 2 vols (Dublin 1975–9), i, 93–9. 22 ASC 923A (recte 920). 24 Edward needed most urgently to ensure that the Danish king of York did not attempt to assume possession of the formerly Scandinavian lands south of the Humber, or incite the population in the eastern Danelaw to rebel against him. For Rægnald, ruling a kingdom sandwiched uneasily between the Scots and Edward’s expanded West Saxon realm, his northern neighbours may have posed the greatest threat. 25 Each party accepted the other’s rule over the whole population – English and Danish or part-Danish – in his own territory; the northern kings accepted Edward’s arbitration in this arrangement and to a degree thus, as the chronicler claimed, his lordship.

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