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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the first part of this book. Cnuts takeover of power in England came as the culmination of some thirty-five years of renewed Scandinavian raids on English territory. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that the raiders came first in 980, striking Southampton, and this force was followed, until 991, by numerous small raiding-armies which struck at coastal sites or headed inland on devastating raiding campaigns. The narration of these events is important to appreciate the political climate of England in 1016, and Cnuts subsequent actions in that country. With many forces opposing the likelihood that a strong and peaceful regime could be established, it is something of a paradox that Cnut remained in control and quickly and efficiently consolidated his authority over England. It is to the processes which enabled this consolidation of power that is the focus of the first part of the book.

Keywords: Cnut; England



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