Reign of King Edward the Confessor

(2519 words)
  • Steve Flanders (Queen's University Belfast)

Historical Context Essay

Modern perceptions of King Edward, known as “the Confessor”, are coloured by his depiction in the Bayeux Tapestry as a white-beared venerable monarch, advising or discussing events with his right-hand man, Harold, Earl of Wessex, and, later in the work, by his deathbed and funeral procession. This benevolent and sympathetic appearance is enhanced by the twelfth-century hagiographies written to facilitate his 1161 canonisation by Pope Alexander III and by the Vita Edwardi regis which, perhaps, contains more propaganda than fact and was, in any case, probably commissioned soon after 1066 to aid the rehabilitation of his wife’s family, the Godwins, rather than accurately portray the future saint.

Edward was born soon a…

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Flanders, Steve. "Reign of King Edward the Confessor". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 May 2006
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Reigns and Monarchy in the British Isles