Bloodfeud: Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England

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9780140286922: Bloodfeud: Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England

One gusty morning in March 1016, Earl Uhtred of Northumbria came with 40 followers to a wooden hall at a place called Wiheal outside York, to parley with the recently crowned King Canute who was attempting to bring his mighty northern subjects properly under his control. They were given guarantee of safe conduct, and came unarmed. But they were ambushed in the hall by an old enemy of Uhtred's, with Canute's connivance, and murdered, every one. From here, Richard Fletcher moves on to explore the whole culture of vengeance and reparation in early Medieval England. As well as the culture of aristocratic and inter-familial violence in Christendom, Fletcher looks closely at the Church's attempts to limit or discredit an institution closely tied with residual paganism. Another element of the book considers the tensions between monarchical authority and wilful local indulgence in vendetta on the one hand, and the influence of feud on high diplomacy on the other.

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About the Author:

Richard Fletcher is one of Britain's most distinguished medieval historians, and has for many years taught at the University of York. His The Quest For EL CID won the Wolfson Award and the Los Angeles Times History Prize; his most recent book, The Conversion Of Europe, was a best-seller for Harper Collins.

Review:


"It would be hard to imagine a better, more reliable introduction to the last days of the Anglo-Saxon world than this stirring book."--Michael Dirda, Washington Post


"A swift and, by necessity, highly speculative account of some murders between 1016 and 1074 that reveal much about 11th-century English politics, religion, codes of honor, and kingship.... A graceful examination of the intricate tapestry of a culture so distant in time and temperament as to be virtually extraterrestrial."--Kirkus Reviews


"Fletcher writes with precision and wit. He has a nose for nuance, a ready supply of pithy phrases, and no time for the jargon that besets so much contemporary academic writing...Bloodfeud dazzles and delights."--Christopher Silvester, Sunday Times


"[Fletcher] enlarges skilfully on the historical context in which all the events took place and artfully on their other dimensions, taking the opportunity at the same time to expound his views on...apprehension of the millennium and the quality of the Anglo-Saxon taxation system."--Simon Keynes, The Spectator


"An excellent book."--Frank McLynn, Literary Review


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Richard Fletcher
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (2003)
ISBN 10: 0140286926 ISBN 13: 9780140286922
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0140286926

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