Aethelred the Unready

Aethelred the Unready In His Fascinating New Book In The Penguin Monarchs Series, Richard Abels Examines The Long And Troubled Reign Of Aethelred II The Unraed , The Ill Advised It Is Characteristic Of Aethelred S Reign That Its Greatest Surviving Work Of Literature, The Poem The Battle Of Maldon, Should Be A Record Of Heroic Defeat Perhaps No Ruler Could Have Stemmed The Encroachment Of Wave Upon Wave Of Viking Raiders, But Aethelred Will Always Be Associated With That FailureRichard Abels Is Professor Emeritus At The United States Naval Academy He Is The Author Of Alfred The Great War, Kingship And Culture In Anglo Saxon England And Lordship And Military Obligation In Anglo Saxon England He Is A Fellow Of The Royal Historical Society

Richard Abels, FRHistS, is Professor Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy

[Ebook] ➨ Aethelred the Unready  Author Richard P. Abels –
  • Hardcover
  • 137 pages
  • Aethelred the Unready
  • Richard P. Abels
  • English
  • 22 July 2017
  • 9780141979496

10 thoughts on “Aethelred the Unready

  1. says:

    While reading Richard Abels s biography of thelred II, I discovered that I now had a new point of assessment for my project Whereas until now I have been comparing biographies of a particular monarch with each other, as a volume in the Penguin Monarchs series Abels s book also provokes comparison with the previous book I read in the series, which was Tom Holland s biography of thelstan While I knew that both were part of the same series when I first identified which books I would read, it wasn t until I was well into Abels s book that I found myself comparing it not just to Williams s biography of thelred but to Holland s study of his predecessor as well This ended up shaping my assessment of the book in some important respects.For the rest of my review, click the link

  2. says:

    Very good short biography of a much maligned Anglo Saxon king I d happily recommend this volume to people trying to get a grip on what the late Anglo Saxon period was like, especially since, in addition to the basic life story of thelred, Abels capably sets the context in which thelred reigned and carefully and concisely explains a lot of difficult, complicated issues This book has, for example, the best one paragraph explanation of the difference between hides and carucates that I ve seen, as well as a wonderfully clear and simple explanations of things like the witan and the social hierarchy ealdormen, thegns, ceorls, etc Abels also gives us some insight into thelred the man, a tricky proposition given our sources, but one that Abels does well given the sources and the constraints of space in such a short book Abels makes a good case that the Unready, the Victorian image of a lazy, uninvolved king, is quite the opposite of the truth The thelred of this book begins as a callow youth elevated rapidly to the throne of a prosperous and growing kingdom, only gradually finding his way through the machinations of members of the court who may have conspired to assassinate his predecessor, and ruled the kingdom as an act of contrition, and eventually succumbing to large, well coordinated assaults by the Danes and internal strife fomented by hangers on like Eadric Streona, who also figures into Cnut s story who took advantage of him thelred proved a failure in the long run, certainly, but not for lack of effort.As I ve noted elsewhere, like the Penguin Monarchs volume on thelred s eventual successor, Cnut, any biography of a figure from this period almost necessarily has to include historiographical information, which can be a booger to incorporate into a narrative life without killing the reader s interest Abels does an excellent job presenting what we know for certain about thelred, what we think we re pretty sure of, what we can safely conjecture, and what we just can t know This last can prove a weakness for historians, who sometimes get so intimately involved with a period s evidence that they need to assert something the evidence really can t support Abels avoids that.So in addition to being a handy little biography of thelred, this book nicely and succinctly introduces some key concepts of Anglo Saxon rule, ranges widely across important textual sources from the Anglo Saxon Chronicle to Wulfstan s Sermon of the Wolf to the English to countless charters and witness lists and does so in a smooth, easy to read style It s an accomplishment Highly recommended.

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