Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England

Annie Whitehead

Many Anglo-Saxon kings are familiar. Æthelred the Unready is one, yet less is written of his wife, who was consort of two kings and championed one of her sons over the others, or his mother who was an anointed queen and powerful regent, but was also accused of witchcraft and regicide.
Date Published :
September 2020
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
20 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526748119
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
-
+
$49.95
Also available as an ebook:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Overview
-

Many Anglo-Saxon kings are familiar. Æthelred the Unready is one, yet less is written of his wife, who was consort of two kings and championed one of her sons over the others, or his mother who was an anointed queen and powerful regent, but was also accused of witchcraft and regicide. A royal abbess educated five bishops and was instrumental in deciding the date of Easter; another took on the might of Canterbury and Rome and was accused by the monks of fratricide.

Anglo-Saxon women were prized for their bloodlines - one had such rich blood that it sparked a war - and one was appointed regent of a foreign country. Royal mothers wielded power; Eadgifu, wife of Edward the Elder, maintained a position of authority during the reigns of both her sons.

Æthelflaed, Lady of the Mercians, was a queen in all but name, while few have heard of Queen Seaxburh, who ruled Wessex, or Queen Cynethryth, who issued her own coinage. She, too, was accused of murder, but was also, like many of the royal women, literate and highly-educated.

From seventh-century Northumbria to eleventh-century Wessex and making extensive use of primary sources, Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England examines the lives of individual women in a way that has often been done for the Anglo-Saxon men but not for their wives, sisters, mothers and daughters. It tells their stories: those who ruled and schemed, the peace-weavers and the warrior women, the saints and the sinners. It explores, and restores, their reputations.

About The Author
-

Annie Whitehead is a History Graduate & Member of the Royal Historical Society. She has penned three award-winning novels set in Anglo-Saxon Mercia: one, about the life of Æthelflæd, was long-listed for HNS Indie Book of the Year, & IAN Finalist. She was a contributor to: 1066 Turned Upside Down, with Helen Hollick, and Sexuality & Its Impact on British History (Pen & Sword 2018).

She has won both fiction and non-fiction awards for her writing (Dorothy Dunnett Soc & New Writer Magazine), regularly contributes articles to several historical magazines and is an editor for EHFA (English Historical Fiction Authors). Her first non-fiction book, Mercia: The Rise and Fall of a Kingdom, was published by Amberley Books in September 2018.

REVIEWS
-

It is a remarkable study of the lives of women of the period - known and unknown - and their impact on history. Saints, princesses and queens; wives, daughters and mothers, Annie Whitehead demonstrates the strengths, weaknesses and challenges these incredible women faced in order to exert their influence on their corner of the world. The author's meticulous research, beautiful writing and natural storytelling ability make this book a pleasure to read from beginning to end.

- Sharon Bennett Connolly, author of Heroines of the Medieval World

"Women’s roles in Anglo-Saxon England have routinely been overlooked or minimised. But they were much more than daughters, wives and mothers – many of them wielded power in their own right. In this detailed and meticulously researched study, Annie Whitehead unearths their stories, telling us of queens and regents, abbesses and saints (and a few notable sinners!) who exercised authority and female agency in a multitude of ways. It’s pre-Conquest history with the women put back in."

- Catherine Hanley, author of Matilda: Empress, Queen, Warrior

"Absolutely fascinating - Annie Whitehead pieces together the evidence with meticulous care, then tells the stories of an exciting variety of remarkable women in fluid, crystal-clear prose. It is a pleasure to read her thoughtful and nuanced portraits of peace-weavers, queens and saints and have my eyes opened to the complex histories of these forgotten Anglo-Saxon leaders."

- Imogen Robertson, author and chair of Historical Writers' Association

More from this publisher