If the Viking Wars had not taken place, would there have been a united England in the tenth century? Martyn Whittock believes not, arguing that without them there would have been no rise of the Godwin family and their conflict with Edward the Confessor, no Norman connection, no Norman Conquest and no Domesday Book. All of these features of English history were the products, or by-products, of these conflicts and the threat of Scandinavian attack. The wars and responses to them accelerated economic growth; stimulated state formation and an assertive sense of an English national identity; created a hybrid Anglo-Scandinavian culture that spread beyond the so-called Danelaw; and caused an upheaval in the ruling elite. By looking at the entire period of the wars and by taking a holistic view of their political, economic, social and cultural effects, their many-layered impact can at last be properly assessed.
MARTYN WHITTOCK is responsible for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development at Kingdown School, Warminster, and for twenty years was Head of History there and the author of thirty-six history titles, including The Origins of England, 410-600 (1986), A Brief History of Life in the Middle Ages (2009) and A Brief History of the Third Reich (2011). He lives in Wiltshire.
HANNAH WHITTOCK read Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic at Cambridge University and completed her Masters there in Anglo-Saxon history in 2012. She now works for the Devolved Welsh Government. Her published works include papers on the Annexation of Bath into Wessex and the Anglo-Saxon frontier of north-western Wiltshire (2012).show more