Reign of Edmund

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 tenth-century England, Edmund’s succession to the…

658 words

Citation: Gallagher, Robert. "Reign of Edmund". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 July 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1449, accessed 02 December 2023.]

1449 Reign of Edmund 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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