Most of the entries in the 'Chronicle' are bare and brief, but sometimes, especially in the accounts of Alfred's own splendid exploits, a writer is roused to spirited narrative, occasionally in verse; and in the tenth century two great battles against invading Northmen, at Brunanburh
and Maldon, produced the only important extant pieces of Anglo-Saxon poetry which certainly belong to the West Saxon period.
Alfred's able grandson Athelstan, after a momentous battle at Brunanburh
, (wherever it was), hammered the whole raft of the opposition and effectively became King of all England.
But there was fighting as they expanded and spread over the water, with big battles at Chester and Bromborough - then Brunanburh
Kachurovsky always mentioned Borges as one of the most significant authors of the twentieth century and even dedicated one of his own poems to him in which he expressed his admiration for the Argentinean ("[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]") ["He spoke about old times, / about Beowulf and the Battle of Brunanburh
, / He became a demiurge, / who created the world from withered beauty"].
Twelve chapters are: interdisciplinary approaches; a brief history and archaeology; speaking like a Viking; Viking-Age women; taking sides; the Battle of Brunanburh
in 937; Viking Age rural settlement; a Viking-Age site; were there Vikings in Carlisle?
Elsewhere Foot tackles other thorny issues, most notably the vexing question of where the great battle of Brunanburh
took place (172-179).
Further, she argues that AEthelstan, with his victory at Brunanburh
, could claim to rule not just the English, but England as well.
The Battle of Brunanburh
actually took place at Bromborough in Wirral in 937AD, lasted from dawn to dusk, cost the lives of thousands of warriors and changed the structure of the British Isles forever.
Kuczynski, "Translation and Adaptation in Tennyson's Battle of Brunanburh
," PQ 86 (2007): 415-31, provides a sensitive reading of that poem.
The same extensive, unbiased treatment is given to the reign of Athelstan (927-939) and the events leading to the celebrated battle of Brunanburh
(937), and Edmund (939-946) who gradually conquered York and the five boroughs, as celebrated in the battle poem from the Chronicle 'The Conquest of the Five Boroughs' (942).
They have heard of King Edgar and King Aethelstan; Winchester, so important in the Anglo-Saxon period, retains for some of them a symbolic significance outweighing its political position in the later Middle Ages; they have a sense that all that is good about English law (some of which happens to be Anglo-Saxon in origin) must be ancient; and a greatly romanticized version of the battle of Brunanburh
complete with obligatory giant crops up in Guy of Warwick as just one of the many sensational events of that narrative.
The article by Kevin Halloran in the June issue is by no means the first suggestion that Brunanburh
was fought at Burnawick Hill north of the Solway Firth.