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The Fortress Kingdom (Hardback)

The Wars of Aethelflaed and Edward the Elder, 899–927

Colour Books Military P&S History > British History > Anglo-Saxons & Vikings Photographic Books

By Paul Hill
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
ISBN: 9781399010610
Published: 4th October 2022

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In this the second part of his four-volume military and political history of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Paul Hill follows the careers of Æthelflæd, Alfred the Great’s eldest daughter, and Edward the Elder, Alfred’s eldest son, as they campaigned to expand their rule after Alfred’s death. They faced, as Alfred had done, the full force of Danish hostility during the early years of the tenth century, a period of unrelenting turbulence and open warfare. But through their military strength, in particular their strategy of fortress building, they retained their hold on the kingdom and conquered lands which had been under Danish lords for generations.

Æthelflæd’s forces captured Derby and Leicester by both force and diplomacy. Edward’s power was always immense. How each of them used forts (burhs) to hold territory, is explored. Fortifications across central England became key. These included Bridgnorth, Tamworth, Stafford, Warwick, Chirbury and Runcorn (Æthelflæd) and also Hertford, Witham, Buckingham, Bedford and Maldon (Edward), to name a few.

Paul Hill’s absorbing narrative incorporates the latest theories and evidence for the military organization and capabilities of the Anglo-Saxons and their Danish adversaries. His book gives the reader a detailed and dramatic insight into a very sophisticated Anglo-Saxon kingdom.

Review as featured in

Medieval Archaeology Journal, December 2023

This book is the second part of 4 books and this book has been a brilliant read and has been thoroughly enjoyable and learn from. Most certainly recommended.

Read the Full Review Here

The History Fella

Exhaustively researched, impressively well written, exceptional in both organization and presentation, "The Fortress Kingdom: The Wars of Aethelflaed and Edward the Elder, 899-927" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Medieval British History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

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Midwest Book Review

Most of the chapters focus on political and military history, the campaigns, battles and sieges, but there is considerable information about the building of fortifications (the burhs) and towns which were essential to the military organization, tactics and strategy employed so successfully. The Notes are interesting and the Bibliography excellent. A complicated period of history fully explored in an absorbing narrative which incorporates the latest theories and archaeological evidence. An essential read for anyone truly interested in Anglo-Saxon history.

Norfolk Family History Society - 'The Ancestor' magazine
 Paul Hill

About Paul Hill

Paul Hill is well known as a lecturer, author and expert on medieval warfare and military archaeology, and he has written several books on these subjects, among them The Age of Athelstan: Britain's Forgotten History, The Viking Wars of Alfred the Great, The Anglo-Saxons at War 800-1066, The Norman Commanders: Masters of Warfare 911-1135, The Knights Templar at War 1120 -1312 and The Kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons: The Wars of King Alfred 865-899.

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