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Æthelstan: The First King of England by Sarah Foot

By Sarah Foot

The robust and leading edge King ?thelstan reigned in basic terms in brief (924-939), but his achievements in the course of these eventful fifteen years replaced the process English background. He gained remarkable army victories (most significantly at Brunanburh), solid extraordinary political connections throughout Europe, and succeeded in growing the 1st unified nation of the English. to assert for him the identify of "first English monarch" isn't 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 numerous spheres within which he lived and labored, starting with the intimate context of his relatives, then extending outward to his strange multiethnic royal courtroom, the Church and his nation, the wars he performed, and eventually his demise and legacy. Foot describes a cosmopolitan guy who used to be not just a very good army chief but additionally a invaluable king. He ruled brilliantly, built inventive how you can venture his photograph as a ruler, and devised strategic marriage treaties and present exchanges to cement alliances with the major royal and ducal homes of Europe. ?thelstan's legacy, noticeable within the new mild of this masterful biography, is inextricably hooked up to the very forging of britain and early English identification.

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T. Wainwright, ‘The Battles at Corbridge’, Saga Book of the Viking Society, xiii (1950), 156–73; HSC, 105–7. 29 Keynes, Liber Vitae, 19–22. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 2 3 4 45x 46x 18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 2 3 4 45 46x Æ T H E L S TA N old kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia, speaks volubly to the new king’s aspirations to govern a genuinely united realm. 31 Dealings with his neighbours, especially in Britain with the kingdom of Northumbria and with Frankia across the Channel, preoccupied Æthelstan at the start of his reign, as did the necessity to make suitable provision for the future of the remarkably large number of sisters and half-sisters with whom his father had thought fit to provide him.

His activities attracted little attention from chroniclers but he was far from idle during this time, as the surviving texts of his charters and his law codes indicate. a. 926D. H. Smith, English Place-Name Elements, Part I, EPNS 25 (Cambridge, 1956), 143. 39 GR, ii, 134 (pp. 214–17). While Welsh sources confirm the payment of tribute to Æthelstan and Welsh kings attested his charters from this time onwards, one can have less confidence in William’s tales about Cornwall and Exeter; see below, ch.

6. a. a. 934, pp. 390–1; ch. 6. 53 Flodoard 18A (936); see further below, ch. 6. 54 The Old English Version of the Heptateuch: Ælfric’s Treatise on the Old and New Testament and his Preface to Genesis, ed. S. J. Crawford (London, 1922), 416–17. 50 51 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 2 3 4 45x 46x 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 2 3 4 45 46x Æ T H E L S TA N any other capacity than as victor, just as their immediate bodyguard would expect to die with their lord rather than face the ignominy of a lifetime as beaten survivors.

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