Queen Emma and the Vikings

Queen Emma and the Vikings : A History of Power, Love and Greed in Eleventh-Century England

3.83 (579 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Emma was one of England's most remarkable queens: a determined, manipulative and forceful woman who made her mark on a Europe beset by Vikings. Her story is one of power, politics, love, greed and scandal a thousand years ago. By birth a Norman, she married and outlived two kings of England. One was an incompetent monarch some twenty years her senior; the other was a Viking warrior ten years her junior. When she died at the age of nearly seventy she had also witnessed the coronations of two of her sons: Harthcnut the Viking and Edward the Confessor. From child-bride and international pawn, she became an unscrupulous political player and was diversely regarded as a generous Christian patron, the admired co-regent of the nation, and a Machiavellian mother. She was, above all, a survivor: her life was punctuated by dramatic falls, all of which she overcame. In tracing Emma's story the England that became her home emerges: far from being benighted, it was a rich nation with strong Christian and cultural traditions that are the root of Englishness, the Anglo-Saxon stock. Yet Emma herself was the formidable catalyst for the country's immutable change into a Norman state. In 1066, fourteen years after she died, her Norman family invaded England. Emma's story also tells us why this happened. Harriet O'Brien gives us a vivid picture of England after the Dark Ages - from its food, clothes and herbal remedies for infertility to Viking boat building and laws against over-eating. Richly detailed and beautifully written, Queen Emma is history at its most compelling.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 158 x 236 x 28mm | 557.93g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Illustrations (some col.), maps
  • 0747574898
  • 9780747574897
  • 2,170,087

About Harriet O'Brien

Harriet O'Brien is a writer and editor working in London for a range of newspapers and magazines including the Independent and Conde Nast Traveller. Her first book, Forgotten Land - a Rediscovery of Burma, won the Yorkshire Post Best First Work Award in 1991.show more

Rating details

579 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 26% (151)
4 40% (231)
3 27% (157)
2 5% (28)
1 2% (12)
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