Æthelstan : the first king of England by Athelstan (England, König); Foot, Sarah Rosamund Irvine;

By Athelstan (England, König); Foot, Sarah Rosamund Irvine; King of England Athelstan

The strong and leading edge King Æthelstan 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 particularly at Brunanburh), cast extraordinary political connections throughout Europe, and succeeded in growing the 1st unified state of the English. to assert for him the identify of "first English monarch" isn't any exaggeration.

In this nuanced portrait of Æthelstan, Sarah Foot bargains the 1st complete account of the king ever written. She strains his existence throughout the a number of spheres during which he lived and labored, starting with the intimate context of his family members, then extending outward to his strange multiethnic royal court docket, the Church and his country, the wars he carried out, and eventually his loss of life and legacy. Foot describes a worldly guy who used to be not just an outstanding army chief but additionally a important king. He ruled brilliantly, built artistic how you can venture his photograph as a ruler, and devised strategic marriage treaties and reward exchanges to cement alliances with the best royal and ducal homes of Europe. Æthelstan's legacy, obvious within the new mild of this masterful biography, is inextricably attached to the very forging of britain and early English identification

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These are the stories that Alfred himself wanted told to ‘preserve his memory in good works’. In other words, the underlying narrative which had seduced so many historians, including me, is Alfred's own narrative – the story and image that he and his courtiers shaped to make sense of his life. 9 Abels's caveat does not wholly convince, for that narrative is surely far from any abstract historical ‘truth’. This court monopolization of the information and its careful crafting into a usable past, a past which ensured that Alfred himself could control how he would be remembered, is precisely what makes it so dangerous.

2 Family 3 Court 4 Church 5 Kingdom 6 War 7 Death 8 British Monarch Epilogue: Memory, Oblivion, Commemoration APPENDICES BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX ILLUSTRATIONS PLATES 1. Æthelstan presenting a book to St Cuthbert. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College. By permission of the President and Fellows, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (MS 183, fo iv). 2. 1909. Private Collection/The Bridgeman Art Library. 3. Statue of Æthelflæd, lady of the Mercians and Æthelstan, from Tamworth. Photograph © Amy Sergison. 4. Acrostic poem addressed to Æthelstan.

Their efforts laid the foundations on which Æthelstan's brothers and nephews would build later in the tenth century, their collective endeavours creating one of the wealthiest and most sophisticated governments in contemporary Western Europe. 909 The early years of Æthelstan's life remain unfortunately the most opaque to the historian, for we know neither the date nor place of the future king's birth and can only guess at where he spent his infancy and childhood. His father Edward, the eldest son of King Alfred, was by the last decade of the ninth century the acknowledged heir to the West Saxon throne.

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