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Queen Emma and the Vikings

Queen Emma and the Vikings Cover

Queen Emma and the Vikings

Power, Love, and Greed in 11th Century England

By Harriet O'Brien

Bloomsbury USA, Hardcover, 9781582345963, 288pp.

Publication Date: July 28, 2005


A lively portrait of a tumultuous period replete with conflict and strife, political intrigue and shifting alliances, assassinations and coronations.

Emma, one of England's most remarkable queens, made her mark on a nation beset by Viking raiders at the end of the Dark Ages, a period often neglected by conventional history. At the center of a triangle of Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans all jostling for control of England, Emma was a political pawn who became a power broker and an unscrupulous manipulator. By birth a Norman, Emma spent the majority of her life on English soil. She was married to two kings of England and outlived both; she was twice driven into exile; while mourning the untimely loss of one son, she was devastated by the murder of another; she saw two of her sons crowned; she was stripped of her powers when her eldest son became king; and she eventually retired from public life as a dowager queen whose land and wealth had been restored. Regarded by her contemporaries as a generous Christian patron, a regent admired by her subjects, and a Machiavellian mother, Emma was, above all, a survivor: hers was a life marked by dramatic reversals of fortune.

About the Author
Harriet O'Brien is a journalist based in London. She has written for the Independent and Conde Nast Traveler, among other publications. This is her second book."