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Edward the Confessor

The Essay, Anglo-Saxon Portraits Episode 28 of 30

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 17 April 2013

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.
This major series rediscovers the Anglo-Saxons through vivid portraits of thirty key individuals.

Stephen Baxter creates a vivid portrait of Edward the Confessor. By any standards, Edward the Confessor lived a remarkable life, and left a still more remarkable legacy. He was a central figure in a period of turbulent politics, characterised by factional intrigue, rebellion, invasion and conquest. He personally experienced dramatic reversals in fortune, spending 25 years in exile before reigning as king of England for almost as long, through moments of periods triumph and humiliation. His posthumous life was similarly eventful . His death triggered the sequence of events that led to the Norman conquest; and his place of burial, Westminster Abbey, became the focal point of a cult which eventually made Edward the patron saint of the English monarchy, and the abbey a national treasure.

Producer: Sarah Taylor



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  • Anglo-Saxon Portraits

    A series which rediscovers the Anglo-Saxons through vivid portraits of individuals.


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