The First King of England
This item is available to order.
Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Paperback / softback
Publisher: Yale University Press
Number of Pages: 304
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.5 cm
"AEthelstan was perhaps the most important king of tenth-century England, but we know very little about him, and he has no modern biography. Sarah Foot triumphantly fills this gap, and adds to the richness of our understanding of the period in a way that few others have managed."-Chris Wickham, author of The Inheritance Of Rome The powerful and innovative King AEthelstan reigned only briefly (924-939), yet his achievements during those eventful fifteen years changed the course of English history. He won spectacular military victories (most notably at Brunanburh), forged unprecedented political connections across Europe, and succeeded in creating the first unified kingdom of the English. To claim for him the title of "first English monarch" is no exaggeration. In this nuanced portrait of AEthelstan, Sarah Foot offers the first full account of the king ever written. She traces his life through the various spheres in which he lived and worked, beginning with the intimate context of his family, then extending outward to his unusual multiethnic royal court, the Church and his kingdom, the wars he conducted, and finally his death and legacy. Foot describes a sophisticated man who was not only a great military leader but also a worthy king. He governed brilliantly, developed creative ways to project his image as a ruler, and devised strategic marriage treaties and gift exchanges to cement alliances with the leading royal and ducal houses of Europe. AEthelstan's legacy, seen in the new light of this masterful biography, is inextricably connected to the very forging of England and early English identity.
"'Sarah Foot's wide-ranging, detailed and sympathetic account offers many thought-provoking insights into a crucial and formative period in British history. In its pages AEthelstan emerges from the shadows as one of the great English rulers. It will be essential reading for all future explorers in the field.' (Michael Wood, author of In Search of the Dark Ages) 'In the pages of this remarkable biography - a work suffused with a rare empathy - Aethelstan emerges as a character of flesh and blood.' (Hywel Williams, Times Literary Supplement) 'A compelling new biography... Foot manages to construct a remarkably clear vision of this king who deserves to be more widely known.' (David Musgrove, BBC History Magazine (Books of the Year) 'A triumph of historiography that celebrates a life rich in spiritual, intellectual and martial endeavour. Revisionary, thoughtful, beautifully written and exhaustively researched, this biography of Aethelstan is set to become a classic.' (Helen Fulton, Times Higher Education)"