From the battle of Maldon in 991 during the reign of Eethelred (the Unready), England was invaded by Scandinavian armies of increasing size and ferocity. Swein Forkbeard, king of Denmark, played a significant part in these invasions, which culminated in the domination of England and the long reign of his son, Cnut. This analysis of the invasions demonstrates beyond doubt that Ethelred's relationship with the Scandinavian armies was more complex and more interesting than has been supposed. It is equally apparent that Swein was a sophisticated politician who laid the foundations for a great rthern empire. Factors leading to the invasions and conquest are investigated through the sources, the itineraries of the Scandinavian armies are plotted, the chrology of events analysed, and the ecomic background explained.
Ian Howard has returned to medieval history after a professional career spent elsewhere. He has produced research papers on several aspects of 10th-11th century history.