The Viking Wars: War and Peace in King Alfred's Britain: 789-955

The Viking Wars: War and Peace in King Alfred's Britain: 789-955

by Max Adams


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A history of Britain in the violent and unruly era between the first Scandinavian raids in 789 and the final expulsion of the Vikings from York in 954.In 865, a great Viking army landed in East Anglia, precipitating a series of wars that would last until the middle of the following century. It was in this time of crisis that the modern kingdoms of Britain were born. In their responses to the Viking threat, these kingdoms forged their identities as hybrid cultures: vibrant and entrepreneurial peoples adapting to instability and opportunity.Traditionally, Alfred the Great is cast as the central player in the story of Viking Age Britain. But Max Adams, while stressing the genius of Alfred as war leader, law-giver, and forger of the English nation, has a more nuanced narrative approach to this conventional version of history. The Britain encountered by the Scandinavians of the ninth and tenth centuries was one of regional diversity and self-conscious cultural identities, depicted in glorious narrative fashion in The Viking Wars.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681777979
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 373,492
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Max Adams is the author of In the Land of Giants as well as a number of other books published in Britain. A university professor,
Max lives in the northeast of England.

Table of Contents

Author's note xiii

Introduction xv

Part I The tiger in the smoke, 789-878 1

Timeline 1: 789-878 3

Forespæc 6

1 Landscape with figures 10

2 Central places 42

3 The incoming tide 76

4 The End of Days 114

Part II Newton's cradle, 879-918 153

Timeline 2: 879-918 155

Forespæc 158

5 The balance of power 162

6 Arrivals and departures 202

7 Fragmentary annals 236

8 Politics by other means 272

Part III Going native, 919-955 307

Timeline 3: 919-955 309

Forespæc 313

9 Innate affinities with ambiguity 318

10 Lawyers, guns and money 352

11 A house of cards 388

12 The illusory prize 422

Appendix Regnal tables 459

Rulers of Wessex 802-955 460

Rulers of York 867-955 461

Rulers of Mercia 757-924 462

Rulers of Pictavia; Dál Riata; Alba 839-955 463

Rulers of the Welsh 808-950 464

Abbreviations, sources and references 465

Notes 466

Bibliography 477

Picture credits 490

Acknowledgements 491

Index 492

List of Maps

North Britain in the Viking Age vi

South Britain in the Viking Age viii

North West Europe x

Viking Age travel map 1 50

Viking Age travel map 2 281

The estates of the community of St Cuthbert in the ninth and tenth centuries 322

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