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Synopsis

In the spring of 878 at the Battle of Edington the tide of English history turned. Alfred's decisive defeat of Guthrum the Dane freed much of the south and west of England from Danish control and brought to a halt Guthrum's assault on Alfred's Wessex. The battle was the culmination of a long period of preparation by Alfred in the wilderness - a victory snatched from the jaws of catastrophic defeat. As such, this momentous turning point around which an entire nation's future pivoted, has given rise to legends and misconceptions that persist to the present day. Paul Hill, in this stimulating and meticulously researched study, brings together the evidence of the medieval chronicles and the latest historical and archaeological research to follow the struggle as it swung across southern England in the ninth century. He dispels the myths that have grown up around this critical period in English history, and he looks at Alfred's war against the Vikings with modern eyes.

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