6 Apr, 2023 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Danish prince who became a very effective King of England in 1016. Cnut inherited a kingdom in a sorry state. The north and east coast had been harried by Viking raiders, and his predecessor King AEthelred II had struggled to maintain order amongst the Anglo-Saxon nobility too. Cnut proved to be skilful ruler. Not only did he bring stability and order to the kingdom, he exported the Anglo-Saxon style of centralised government to Denmark. Under Cnut, England became the cosmopolitan centre of a multi-national North Atlantic Empire, and a major player in European politics.

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  • Erin Goeres No other episodes
    Associate Professor of Old Norse Language and Literature at University College London
  • Pragya Vohra No other episodes
    Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of York
  • Elizabeth Tyler No other episodes
    Professor of Medieval Literature and Co-Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York

Reading list

  • Cnut the Great
    Timothy Bolton (Yale University Press, 2017) Google Books →
  • The Empire of Cnut the Great: Conquest and Consolidation of Power in Northern Europe in the Early Eleventh Century
    Timothy Bolton (Brill, 2008) Google Books →
  • Cnut: The North Sea King
    Ryan Lavelle (Penguin, 2017) Google Books →
  • Cnut: England's Viking king, 1016-35
    M. K. Lawson (The History Press, 2011) Google Books →
  • Anglo-Danish Empire: A Companion to the Reign of King Cnut the Great
    Richard North, Erin Goeres, Alison Finlay (eds.) (Medieval Institute Publications, 2022) Google Books →
  • The Reign of Cnut: King of England, Denmark and Norway
    Alexander R. Rumble (ed.) (Leicester University Press, 1994) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 940.1 (Europe–History–476-1492)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1016, a Danish prince called Cnut became King of England.