Life and Times of Godwine, Earl of Wessex
Godwine was an independent-minded,
dominant and courageous man who held much political and military
power. Mediaeval kings relied on men like Godwine for support
and for execution of their policies. When the interests of the
king and his leading men coincided, the country could enjoy an
effective administration; when these interests conflicted, ruinous
and unnecessary strife resulted and it was by no means certain
that the authority of the king would prevail.
Earl Godwine, the father of King Harold, was one of the most important
and influential figures in 11th century England. The story of
his life is scattered in many source documents in which fact is
mingled with legend and polemic. Hubert Grills has reviewed the
available sources - Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and Norman - and
subjected them to a new analysis.
The author's familiarity with the texts - and with the inherent
bias in each of them - allows him to bring a fresh approach to
the little known story of a great man.
227 pages 18 family trees
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