The reign of Athelstan of England is of central importance to Anglo-Saxon history and has unexpected significance for contemporary continental history.
In the early years of the tenth century several Anglo-Saxon royal women, all daughters of King Edward the Elder of Wessex (899-924) and sisters (or half-sisters) of his son King Athelstan (924-39), were despatched across the Channel as brides for Frankish and Saxon rulers and aristocrats. This article addresses the fate of some of these women through an analysis of their political identities.
This incident has been fatally embroidered by many local historians, taking their cue from various sources, so that the popular accounts have distorted what was already a confusing set of events.
The various conflicts and settlements in the period 920 to 945 are often considered inisolation but they are connected and also together form part of two longer-term processes
In this article, I wish to return to the references to coinage in the Anglo-Saxon laws in the light of Patrick Wormald’s important research on the laws, especially his The Making of English Law: King Alfred to the Twelfth Century, which has made this difficult evidence much more penetrable to the non-specialist.