The Godwins: The Rise and Fall of a Noble Dynasty (The Medieval World)

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9781138138285: The Godwins: The Rise and Fall of a Noble Dynasty (The Medieval World)

The family of Earl Godwin of Wessex stands among the most famous in English history, whose most famous son was King Harold.

Frank Barlow charts the family through to Harold – the last Anglo-Saxon king – and finally the crowning of William the Conqueror during the Norman Conquest. Set against the backdrop of Viking raids and ultimately the Norman Conquest of 1066, Frank Barlow unravels the gripping history of a feuding family that nevertheless determined the course and fortunes of all the English.

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The Godwins is the fascinating story of the meteoric rise and fall of the powerful Godwin dynasty, one of the grandest and most powerful families of Anglo-Saxon England, whose most famous son was King Harold. Set against the backdrop of Viking raids and ultimately the Norman Conquest of 1066, Frank Barlow unravels the the gripping history of a feuding family that nevertheless determined the course and fortunes of all the English.

The family of Earl Godwin of Wessex stands among the most famous in English history. Owing their rise to Godwin¿s outstandingly successful career during the reign of the Danish King Cnut (1016-35), they became even more prominent in the time of Edward the Confessor (1042-66). Godwin¿s daughter, Edith, became King Edward¿s wife, his son Harold inherited his father¿s earldom of Wessex, his son Tostig acquired Northumbria and other sons also became earls. Over the century they accumulated great wealth and established enormous influence.

However, Edith and Edward could not have children and ultimately this destabilised the monarchy, exposing the problem of the royal succession after Edward¿s death. Harold took the throne soon after but was defeated and killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066; Queen Edith lived in England until her death in 1075, and other survivors of Godwin¿s family faded into obscurity.

Frank Barlow places the Godwins at the centre of this unstable world, charting the family through to Harold ¿ the last Anglo-Saxon king ¿ and finally the crowning of William the Conqueror during the Norman Conquest. [This violent upheaval in English history virtually destroyed the existing Anglo-Danish nobility, together with powerful standing of the Godwin dynasty in England.]

Frank Barlow is the author of many books including the bestselling ¿The Feudal Kingdom of England¿. He is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter and Honorary Fellow of St John¿s College, Oxford; CBE, FBA, FRSL.

About the Author:

Frank Barlow is the author of the bestselling Feudal Kingdom of England. He is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter.

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