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High in the air the threatening banners fly,
And call his eager troops to victory...
In 937, a monumental battle took place, uniting England under a single king for the first time. Fresh from his final defeat of the Vikings at York ten years earlier, Athelstan and his brother Edmund faced a combined enemy force, emerging as the victors. Described as the 'greatest single battle in Anglo-Saxon history before the Battle of Hastings' (Alfred Smyth), the Battle of Brunanburh was a bloody assertion of Wessex's dominance in medieval England and a key turning point in British history.
Given Brunanburh’s significance, it seems incredible that the battle is not better known today. Athelstan emerged from the conflict as the first king of a unified England, setting a precedent for centuries to come. In The Battle of Brunanburh, expert Peter France tells the story of this explosive clash from buildup to aftermath, demonstrating its vital role in the creation of today’s Britain, and showcasing compelling new evidence relating to the battle’s location.
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Peter France is a life-long resident of the Wirral peninsula, and chairman of the Wirral History and Heritage Association and has spent nearly fifty years researching the archaeology of Wirral, Cheshire and North Wales, as well as working on archaeological sites throughout the country as a member of Wirral Archaeology. The Brunanburh Research Project is now approaching its sixth year. Peter has written several articles on the subject.
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