Many people know about Wessex, the ‘Last Kingdom’ of the Anglo-Saxons in defence against the Danes, but another kingdom once enjoyed supremacy over not just Wessex, but all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
This is a history of Mercia, from the early seventh century right up to 1071 and the aftermath of the Norman Conquest, and features some familiar names - Offa, Æthelflæd, Lady Godiva - and some less familiar ones. It’s the story of the fluctuating fortunes of a kingdom that at one time controlled all of England south of the River Humber.
From Penda the pagan king and the origins of the Mercians themselves, through the periods of Offa the Great and Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, this book explores the history of not only the kings and queens, but the saints, sinners, earls and traitors who all contributed to this kingdom’s rich history.
Mercia ceased to be a kingdom when Alfred the Great came to power, but its history did not end there. Examining the roles of the great ealdormen in the anti-monastic reaction of the tenth-century, through the treachery of Eadric Streona in the eleventh, and the last, brave young earls who made a stand against William the Conqueror, this book completes the story of the Mercians and shows the important role they played in the forging of the English nation.