‘No one has done more than Michael Livingston to revive memories of the battle, and you could not hope for a better guide.’ BERNARD CORNWELL Bestselling author of The Last Kingdom seriesLate in AD 937, four armies met at Brunanburh. On one side stood the shield-wall of the expanding kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons. On the other side, a remarkable alliance of rival kings – at least two from across the sea – who had come together to destroy the Anglo-Saxons once and for all.
The stakes were no less than the survival of the dream that would become England. The armies were massive. The violence, when it began, was enough to shock a violent age.
Brunanburh may not today have the fame of Hastings, Crecy or Agincourt, but generations later it was still called, quite simply, the ‘great battle’. For centuries now, its location has been lost but after an extraordinary effort, uniting enthusiasts, historians, archaeologists and linguists the location of these bloodied fields may well have been identified. This groundbreaking new book tells the story of this remarkable discovery and delves into why and how the battle happened.
Most importantly, though, it is about the men who fought and died at Brunanburh, and how much this forgotten struggle can tell us about who we are and how we relate to our past.