The Essay

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The Anglo-Saxons rediscovered through portraits of thirty key figures from the era 550-1066. Martin Carver on Aethelflaed, lady of the Mercians, queen, wife, mother and field marshal.

The Anglo Saxons are somewhat out of fashion, yet the half millennium between the creation of the English nation in around 550 and the Norman Conquest in 1066 was a formative one.


No. 20 Martin Carver on Aethelflaed, lady of the Mercians, queen, mother and field marshal. There are 30 Aethelflaeds in the surviving Anglo-Saxon records, but one stands out about them all. Martin assesses Aethelflaed, Alfred's daughter who played such an important role in English history, yet is not as well known as she deserves to be. With the help of written and archaelogical evidence, we gain an intriguing insight into the life of this brilliant tactician and leader, afraid of nothing and nobody.

Producer: Sarah Taylor.
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