The formation of England occurred against the odds: an island divided into rival kingdoms, under savage assault from Viking hordes. King Alfred ensured the survival of Wessex and his son Edward expanded it, his grandson Athelstan conquered Northumbria and was hailed as 'King of the whole of Britain'. But what role did Aethelflaed play? Leading historian Tom Holland, author of Athelstan: The Making of England, explores the story with relish and drama, transporting us back to a time of omens, raven harbingers and blood-red battlefields. Making sense of the family rivalries and fractious conflicts, he tells how a royal dynasty rescued their kingdom from near-oblivion and fashioned a nation that endures to this day.
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