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Aethelred became king of England in 978, following the murder of his half-brother Edward the Martyr (possibly at the instigation of their mother) at Corfe. On his own death in April 1016, his son Edmund Ironside succeeded him and fought the invading Danes bravely, but died in November of the same year after being defeated at the battle of Assandun, leading to the House of Wessex being replaced by a Danish king, Cnut. Aethelred, in constrast to his predecessor and successor, reigned (except for a few weeks in 1013/14), largely unchallenged for thirty-eight years, despite presiding over a period that saw many Danish invasions and much internal strife. If not a great king, he was certainly a survivor whose posthumous reputation and nickname (meaning 'Noble Council the No Council') do him little justice. In Aethelred the Unready Ann Williams, a leading scholar on his reign, discounts the later rumours and misinterpretations that have dogged his reputation to construct a record of his reign from contemporary sources.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781852853822
ISBN-10: 1852853824
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 29mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Hambledon Continuum
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Ann Williams

ANN WILLIAMS is a leading historian of Anglo-Saxon England and the author of the English and Norman Conquest (1995). She is Senior Research Fellow at the University of East Anglia.

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