Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon...
The little-known lives of women who ruled, schemed, and made peace and war, between the seventh and eleventh centuries: “Meticulously researched.” —Catherine Hanley, author of Matilda: Empress, Queen, Warrior
Many Anglo-Saxon kings are familiar. Æthelred the Unready is one—but less is written about his wife, who was consort of two kings and championed one of her sons over the others, or about 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. 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, and was also, like many of the royal women, literate and highly educated.
Ranging 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.