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Dragon Lords: The History and Legends of Viking England

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Paperback
Published: September 2020
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Published By: Bloomsbury
 
Published: 17-Sep-2020
Format: Paperback, 288 pages, 0x0mm
ISBN: 9781350165359
Stock Code: 0165359
Product Description
 
Why did the Vikings sail to England? Were they indiscriminate raiders, motivated solely by bloodlust and plunder? One narrative, the stereotypical one, might have it so. But locked away in the buried history of the British Isles are other, far richer and more nuanced, stories; and these hidden tales paint a picture very different from the ferocious pillagers of popular repute.
In this book, Eleanor Parker unlocks secrets that point to more complex motivations within the marauding army that in the late-9th century voyaged to the shores of eastern England in its sleek, dragon-prowed longships. Exploring legends from forgotten medieval texts, and across the varied Anglo-Saxon regions, she depicts Vikings who came not just to raid but also to settle personal feuds, intervene in English politics and find a place to call home. Native tales reveal the links to famous Vikings like Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons, Cnut, and Havelok the Dane. Each myth shows how the legacy of the newcomers can still be traced in landscape, place-names and local history. Meticulously researched and elegantly argued, Dragon Lords uncovers the remarkable degree to which England is Viking to its core.Why did the Vikings sail to England? Were they indiscriminate raiders, motivated solely by bloodlust and plunder? One narrative, the stereotypical one, might have it so. But locked away in the buried history of the British Isles are other, far richer and more nuanced, stories; and these hidden tales paint a picture very different from the ferocious pillagers of popular repute.
In this book, Eleanor Parker unlocks secrets that point to more complex motivations within the marauding army that in the late-9th century voyaged to the shores of eastern England in its sleek, dragon-prowed longships. Exploring legends from forgotten medieval texts, and across the varied Anglo-Saxon regions, she depicts Vikings who came not just to raid but also to settle personal feuds, intervene in English politics and find a place to call home. Native tales reveal the links to famous Vikings like Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons, Cnut, and Havelok the Dane. Each myth shows how the legacy of the newcomers can still be traced in landscape, place-names and local history. Meticulously researched and elegantly argued, Dragon Lords uncovers the remarkable degree to which England is Viking to its core.
Eleanor Parker is Lecturer in Medieval English Literature at the University of Oxford, UK. Her DPhil, obtained in 2013 from the University of Oxford, addressed the subject of Anglo-Scandinavian literature in post-Conquest England. Dr Parker writes an acclaimed blog in her guise as 'A Clerk of Oxford', described as 'an orchard of golden apples' by Christopher Howse in the Daily Telegraph. In 2015 her blog won the Longman-History Today Award for Digital History, and she now writes a regular column for History Today.