Two books by Ian Howard (“Swein Forkbeard’s Invasions and the Danish Conquest of England 991-1017” and “The Reign of Æthelred II: King of the English, Emperor of All the Peoples of Britain”) deal with similar topics, so I thought I would address them together, especially since they share an author. Both are academic works that engage with a tumultuous and confusing period of early English history, when England fell to a Danish king in 1013, was recovered by the English one in 1014, and was conquered by Danes again in 1016.
Camedieval, a project associated with CALM and GEMS at Cambridge University, seeks to make medievalism relevant to the wider public.
I have run across several books that, in my opinion, strike an excellent balance between scholarship and readability. This list contains only a few of them.
Did the St. Brice’s Day Massacre lead to the Danish Conquest of England?
Image credit: Rex Factor. Æthelred the Unready appears on the Rex Factor banner (25 July 2020). On July 25th, I appeared on Rex Factor to discuss the military career of Æthelred the Unready. Rex Factor is a long-running podcast that discusses medieval history in a light-hearted manner, assigning monarchs and consorts marks according to battleynessContinue reading “Rex Factor Interview”
“He ended his days on St. George’s Day, and he had held his kingdom with great toil and difficulties as long as his life lasted.”
Æthelred’s plan was to invade Normandy and capture Duke Richard II.
The image that had emerged by the 12th century was of a ruler who was afraid of candles, had defecated at his baptism, was scolded at his own coronation, was haunted by the ghost of his murdered brother, and who preferred drinking and sleeping to fighting vikings.
Using the restoration agreement of 1014 as a starting point, it is possible to make sense of one of the most dramatic eras in English history, when King Æthelred not only had to fend off massive Viking invasions, but also had to navigate through dangerous factions, disloyal subjects, and an open rebellion by his own son.
After a year and a half of writing, editing, and revising (and many more years of research), it’s finally out: my new book, England’s Unlikely Commander: The Military Career of Æthelred the Unready, is available from Rounded Globe. England’s Unlikely Commander takes a look at the military practices of late Anglo-Saxon England, using sources likeContinue reading “Æthelred the Unready: New Book Re-examines Infamous Anglo-Saxon King’s Military Practices”