Cnut (Penguin Monarchs): The North Sea King
Cnut, or Canute, is one of the great 'what ifs' of English history. TheDane who became King of England after a long period of Viking attacksand settlement, his reign could have permanently shiftedeleventh-century England's rule to Scandinavia. Stretching his authorityacross the North Sea to become king of Denmark and Norway, and withclose links to Ireland and an overlordship of Scotland, this formidablefigure created a Viking Empire at least as plausible as the Anglo-NormanEmpire that would emerge in 1066.
Ryan Lavelle's illuminatingbook cuts through myths and misconceptions to explore this fascinatingand powerful man in detail. Cnut is most popularly known now for thestory of the king who tried to command the waves, relegated to a bitpart in the medieval story, but as this biography shows, he was aconqueror, political player, law maker and empire builder on thegrandest scale, one whose reign tells us much about the contingentnature of history.
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The King's City: London under Charles II: A city that transformed a nation - and created modern Britain