The Iron Men of Shropshire

The Iron Men of Shropshire

Lincoln: A Potted History

Lincoln: A Potted History

The Kings of Wessex

From Cerdic to Alfred

Publication Date15th June 2025

Book FormatHardback





Charts the changing fortunes of Wessex and its rise to become the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
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The story of Wessex and its kings after 740 is one of both success and failure - of a continuing struggle for independence from vassalage to its neighbour Mercia. During the years covered by this book, the balance of power changed irrevocably. From then on Wessex replaced Mercia as the dominant kingdom in Anglo-Saxon England.

The account charts the reigns of its rulers, from the death of Æthelheard in 740 through to the reign of Æthelwulf. By Æthelwulf’s death in 858 Wessex had expanded east, west and north to incorporate Devon and Berkshire and the former separate kingdoms of Sussex, Kent and Essex. His death came when Anglo-Saxon England had already encountered an increasing threat from Viking invasion, and in the 860s Anglo-Saxon England was faced by a Danish conquest. The growth that Wessex had experienced in the decades before enabled it to survive that threat, while Mercia and the other kingdoms succumbed.

There are no other published works devoted to this important period of history, and more surprisingly perhaps no works which deal with the rise of Wessex at that time or more directly the reigns of Ecgberht or Æthelwulf. As such, this book gives scope for an assessment of a period that is less familiar, or even unknown, to those usually interested in Anglo-Saxon history or the history of Wessex.

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