Reign of Edmund (658 words)

Historical Context Essay

  • Robert Gallagher (University of Cambridge)
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Edmund’s reign was as eventful as it was short. At the age of eighteen, he had become the first ruler ever to succeed to a single kingdom of ‘England’ and for much of his time as king he was occupied by the task of regaining, maintaining and strengthening the realm that he had inherited from his half-brother, Æ;thelstan. Edmund had been born in either 920 or 921, the eldest son of Edward the Elder and his third wife Eadgifu, and he appears to have spent his childhood in and around the royal court, close to his brother Æ;thelstan, who became king following Edward’s death in 924. Given that Æ;thelstan never married, it is quite possible that Edmund had always been coveted as his brother’s immediate successor and, unusually in …

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Gallagher, Robert. "Reign of Edmund". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 July 2015
[, accessed 20 October 2017.]

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