So, they are forced to fight their way out. Edward defends her by retorting that she isn’t a whore. She cautions, however, that we have no means of discovering how far William "improved" on the original. The Last Kingdom Season 4 ends with a surprise truce and a horrible new feud. [96] Oda, a future Archbishop of Canterbury, was also close to Æthelstan, who appointed him Bishop of Ramsbury. In the view of Simon Keynes it is no coincidence that they first appear immediately after the king had for the first time united England under his rule, and they show a high level of intellectual attainment and a monarchy invigorated by success and adopting the trappings of a new political order. Sharon Turner's History of the Anglo-Saxons, first published between 1799 and 1805, played a crucial role in promoting Anglo-Saxon studies, and he helped to establish Brunanburh as a key battle in English history, but his treatment of Æthelstan was slight in comparison with Alfred. However, I knew that it had to end one day. Appeared in Æthelred ruled English Mercia under Alfred and was married to his daughter Æthelflæd. Limited to the first print run. She tell them that the Danes will surely kill them, so she suggests that they say their prayers. He looks to Uhtred to take care of the child. In Keynes's view he "has long been regarded, with good reason, as a towering figure in the landscape of the tenth century ... he has also been hailed as the first king of England, as a statesman of international standing". However, that’s likely due to the fact that everyone is dead. The style was characterised by long, convoluted sentences and a predilection for rare words and neologisms. ("Episode 4.6"), The group sleeps as Uhtred watches over them. By late June or early July he had reached Chester-le-Street, where he made generous gifts to the tomb of St Cuthbert, including a stole and maniple (ecclesiastical garments) originally commissioned by his step-mother Ælfflæd as a gift to Bishop Frithestan of Winchester. Posted by. Æthelstan gives Edward a king he crafted. Finan continues to grow more and more worried. Uhtred enters Winchester as Æthelstan and Ælfweard exit, running into Edward’s arms. [19] An acrostic poem praising prince "Adalstan", and prophesying a great future for him, has been interpreted by Lapidge as referring to the young Æthelstan, punning on the old English meaning of his name, "noble stone". Ælswith tells Æthelhelm to focus on his account with God and Ælflæd to reflect on her anger towards a child, when her own is in danger. Novel Series This points to a dispute between Æthelstan and Constantine over control of his territory. After 13 wonderful stories, brilliantly mixing fact and fiction, I will very much miss the adventures of Uhtred of Bebbanburg. He was succeeded by his half-brother, Edmund. "[103] However, while he was a generous donor to monasteries, he did not give land for new ones or attempt to revive the ones in the north and east destroyed by Viking attacks. Folcuin stated that Æthelstan sent alms to the abbey for his dead brother and received monks from the abbey graciously when they came to England, although Folcuin did not realise that Æthelstan died before the monks made the journey in 944. Ælswith asks Æthelstan what he is reading. By Æthelstan's time the connection was well established, and his coronation was performed with the Carolingian ceremony of anointment, probably to draw a deliberate parallel between his rule and Carolingian tradition. [68], Anglo-Saxon kings ruled through ealdormen, who had the highest lay status under the king. The Ealdormen may complain but this time, she tells Edward not to treat them too harshly. [118] But according to George Molyneaux "this is to apply an anachronistic standard: tenth-century kings had a loose but real hegemony throughout the island, and their titles only appear inflated if one assumes that kingship ought to involve domination of an intensity like that seen within the English kingdom of the eleventh and later centuries."[119]. Notice ("Episode 3.1"), Alfred and Ælswith have commanded that he get a divorce after they found out that Edward and Ecgwynn secretly married. [105], Æthelstan built on his grandfather's efforts to revive ecclesiastical scholarship, which had fallen to a low state in the second half of the ninth century. Æthelstan. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. [76] His code was strongly influenced by Carolingian law going back to Charlemagne in such areas as treason, peace-keeping, organisation of the hundreds and judicial ordeal. Gender He won spectacular military victories (most notably at Brunanburh), forged unprecedented political connections across Europe, and succeeded in creating the first unified kingdom of the English. ("Episode 4.9"), Ælswith, Æthelstan, Æthelhelm, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard remain locked up. [139] An important source is the twelfth-century chronicle of William of Malmesbury, but historians are cautious about accepting his testimony, much of which cannot be verified from other sources. However, Eardwulf then reveals that she’s in fact Uhtred’s daughter. The following year Sihtric died, and Æthelstan seized the chance to invade. Æthelstan centralised government; he increased control over the production of charters and summoned leading figures from distant areas to his councils. [67] In the view of Sarah Foot, on the other hand, it would be difficult to exaggerate the battle's importance: if the Anglo-Saxons had been defeated, their hegemony over the whole mainland of Britain would have disintegrated. The later codes show his concern with threats to social order, especially robbery, which he regarded as the most important manifestation of social breakdown. Father Pyrlig takes Æthelstan to hide with the other villagers he’s brought in. "Episode 3.4" [51], Æthelstan became the first king of all the Anglo-Saxon peoples, and in effect overlord of Britain. [106] He was renowned in his own day for his piety and promotion of sacred learning. He was deposed in 922, and Eadgifu sent their son Louis to safety in England. Residence Æthelstan reveals that he’s to be educated at Bedwyn. However, Ælfweard outlived his father by only sixteen days, disrupting any succession plan. In charters from 931 he is "king of the English, elevated by the right hand of the almighty to the throne of the whole kingdom of Britain", and in one manuscript dedication he is even styled "basileus et curagulus", the titles of Byzantine emperors. [55], In 934 Æthelstan invaded Scotland. She tells the guards to look inside the pouch that her brother wears around his neck. [91] In Æthelstan's time, however, it was far less developed, and minting was still organised regionally long after Æthelstan unified the country. [148] Frank Stenton and Simon Keynes both describe him as the one Anglo-Saxon king who will bear comparison with Alfred. Hæsten informs Uhtred that Sigtryggr has landed from Irland and he wants all Danes to follow him. Achetez et téléchargez ebook War Lord: The No.1 Sunday Times bestseller, the epic new historical fiction book for 2020 (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 13) (English Edition): Boutique Kindle - Action & Adventure : … [47], Whereas Æthelstan was the first English king to achieve lordship over northern Britain, he inherited his authority over the Welsh kings from his father and aunt. Notice [138] The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in Æthelstan's reign is principally devoted to military events, and it is largely silent apart from recording his most important victories. Æthelstan sent his half-sister Eadhild to be Hugh's wife. In the same year he assisted the son of his half-sister Eadgifu, Louis, to take the throne of West Francia, and in 939 he sent another fleet that unsuccessfully attempted to help Louis in a struggle with rebellious magnates. In 941 Olaf died, and Edmund took back control of the east midlands, and then York in 944. 18. The English also suffered heavy losses, including two of Æthelstan's cousins, sons of Edward the Elder's younger brother, Æthelweard.[60]. The purple blooms, when dissolved in water, are tasteless and effective, especially in children. Sigtryggr and Brida have captured Winchester, where Hæsten plans to take Ælswith, Æthelstan, and Stiorra. Brida determines that Stiorra is at least half Dane. The Bishop of Winchester, Frithestan, did not attend the coronation or witness any of Æthelstan's known charters until 928. [57], No battles are recorded during the campaign, and chronicles do not record its outcome. r/TheLastKingdom: A subreddit for "The Last Kingdom," the BBC/Netflix television show set in medieval England. [39], Edward the Elder had conquered the Danish territories in Mercia and East Anglia with the assistance of Æthelflæd and her husband Æthelred, but when Edward died the Danish king Sihtric still ruled the Viking Kingdom of York (formerly the southern Northumbrian kingdom of Deira). By September, however, he was back in the south of England at Buckingham, where Constantine witnessed a charter as subregulus, thus acknowledging Æthelstan's overlordship. She adds that Eardwulf is also responsible for the delay of their return to Mercia. [73] Previously, some charters had been produced by royal priests and others by members of religious houses, but between 928 and 935 they were produced exclusively by a scribe known to historians as "Æthelstan A", showing an unprecedented degree of royal control over an important activity. One of the central plot points of The Last Kingdom 's fourth season was the dilemma of Edward's eldest son, Æthelstan. Edward reveals to Ælswith that he intends to hold Aegelesburg until Mercia is in the charge of someone he trusts. Will Uhtred live to Æthelstans england [No Spoilers] Close. Appeared in She admits that she was wrong to rip them apart, as well as separate him from his first wife. Mercia acknowledged Æthelstan as king, and Wessex may have chosen Ælfweard. For all of Æthelstan's family, see below. His reasons are unclear, and historians give alternative explanations. Ælswith tells him to pray they offer more. Notice His grandfather Alfred, his father Edward, and his half-brother Ælfweard had been buried at Winchester, but Æthelstan chose not to honour the city associated with opposition to his rule. Sarah Foot commented that tithing and oath-taking to deal with the problem of theft had its origin in Frankia: Historians differ widely regarding Æthelstan's legislation. "[134], Æthelstan died at Gloucester on 27 October 939. ("Episode 4.6"), Uhtred, young Uhtred, Stiorra, Eadith, Finan, Osferth, Sihtric, Ælfwynn, and Æthelstan continue on the road to Ceaster on foot. [15], William of Malmesbury wrote that Alfred the Great honoured his young grandson with a ceremony in which he gave him a scarlet cloak, a belt set with gems, and a sword with a gilded scabbard. ("Episode 3.4"), Winchester, Wessex; Ælswith asks Hild about Ecgwynn, on what is happening to her now. In the autumn they joined with the Strathclyde Britons under Owain to invade England. Æthelstan A (/ ˈæθəlstæn ˈeɪ /) is the name given by historians to an unknown scribe who drafted charters (or diplomas), by which the king made grants of land, for King Æthelstan … The Carolingian dynasty of East Francia had died out in the early tenth century, and its new Liudolfing king, Henry the Fowler, was seen by many as an arriviste. In 934 he invaded Scotland and forced Constantine II to submit to him, but Æthelstan's rule was resented by the Scots and Vikings, and in 937 they invaded England. [59], The two sides met at the Battle of Brunanburh, resulting in an overwhelming victory for Æthelstan, supported by his young half-brother, the future King Edmund I. Olaf escaped back to Dublin with the remnant of his forces, while Constantine lost a son. Alive Sigtryggr has shown them that there are ways to take land without fighting for them. For other uses, see, 9th-century West Saxon kings before Alfred the Great are generally described by historians as kings of Wessex or of the West Saxons. "The Pagan Lord" Æthelhelm realizes who Æthelstan is and confronts Ælswith. His household was the centre of English learning during his reign, and it laid the foundation for the Benedictine monastic reform later in the century. That’s when she crosses paths with a sleeping Eardwulf and his men. They show his concern about widespread robberies, and the threat they posed to social order. Sigtryggr agrees to make the exchange. His cousin, Adelolf, Count of Boulogne, took his body for burial at the Abbey of Saint Bertin in Saint-Omer. The small and intimate meetings that had been adequate until the enlargement of the kingdom under Edward the Elder gave way to large bodies attended by bishops, ealdormen, thegns, magnates from distant areas, and independent rulers who had submitted to his authority. ("Episode 4.6"), Aegelesburg, Mercia; While the town is distracted by King Æthelred’s funeral, Pyrlig sneaks Uhtred, Finan, Stiorra, and Æthelstan inside. Alors que la saison 4 de "The Last Kingdom" est disponible depuis le 26 avril sur Netflix, les fans espèrent déjà retrouver Uhtred et Brida très prochainement pour de nouveaux épisodes. He lavished gifts on the minsters of Beverley, Chester-le-Street, and York, emphasising his Christianity. Uhtred tells Sigtryggr to send out both of Edward’s children and he will walk into Winchester alone. War Lord: The No.1 Sunday Times bestseller, the epic new historical fiction book for 2020 (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 13) - Ebook written by Bernard Cornwell. An exception is George Molyneaux, who states that "There are, however, grounds to suspect that Æthelstan may have had a hand in the death of Ælfweard's full brother Edwin in 933". This apparently had little effect, as Æthelstan admitted in the Exeter code: In desperation the Council tried a different strategy, offering an amnesty to thieves if they paid compensation to their victims. More legal texts survive from his reign than from any other 10th-century English king. Bringing him into the palace would create a major strife. Roach, "Law codes and legal norms in later Anglo-Saxon England", pp. She questions how much younger she’ll have to be a prisoner, as she leads Ælfwynn and Æthelstan into the other room. [62] The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle abandoned its usual terse style in favour of a heroic poem vaunting the great victory,[j] employing imperial language to present Æthelstan as ruler of an empire of Britain. The new marriage weakened Æthelstan's position, as his step-mother naturally favoured the interests of her own sons, Ælfweard and Edwin. Le 01 mai 2020 à 19:38:11 -Majin a écrit : Ah oui - page 28 - Topic The Last Kingdom (BBC) du 21-04-2015 23:08:30 sur les forums de ("Episode 4.2"), Ælswith says that Æthelstan has now the love of god but not that of his mother, even she wouldn't wish that on her son. Simon Keynes argued that "the consistent usages of Edgar's reign represent nothing less than a determined reaffirmation of the polity created by Æthelstan in the 930s". According to the twelfth-century chronicler Simeon of Durham, his land forces ravaged as far as Dunnottar in north-east Scotland, while the fleet raided Caithness, then probably part of the Norse kingdom of Orkney. [135], After Æthelstan's death, the men of York immediately chose the Viking king of Dublin, Olaf Guthfrithson (or his cousin, Anlaf Cuaran[l]), as their king, and Anglo-Saxon control of the north, seemingly made safe by the victory of Brunanburh, collapsed. In many ways the diplomas of "Æthelstan A" represent the stylistic peak of the Anglo-Saxon diplomatic tradition, a fitting complement to Æthelstan's own momentous political feats and to the forging of what would become England. No plan has been made for the succession, so Æthelflæd is eager to speak with him and the Ealdormen. Fifty years later, Æthelweard, a descendant of Alfred the Great's older brother, addressed his Latin version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to Mathilde, Abbess of Essen, who was Eadgyth's granddaughter, and had apparently requested it. Finan suspects that Æthelflæd isn’t coming and advises they leave. Later, Uhtred leaves Winchester with Æthelstan. Æthelstan admits that he’s the elder brother, and Sigtryggr decides to take both. [24] Eadgifu also had two sons, the future kings Edmund and Eadred. To the south, King Æthelstan has unified the three kingdoms of Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia – and now eyes a bigger prize. [e] Guthfrith, a cousin of Sihtric, led a fleet from Dublin to try to take the throne, but Æthelstan easily prevailed. [32][b], The coronation of Æthelstan took place on 4 September 925 at Kingston upon Thames, perhaps due to its symbolic location on the border between Wessex and Mercia. While War Lord may not be the best entry in Bernard Cornwell's Last Kingdom series it is still a strong novel. Uhtred orders Stiorra to get Ælfwynn out the sun, but she’s tired of mothering her. In his own day he was 'the roof-tree of the honour of the western world'". [147] His nephew Edgar called himself King of the English and revived the claim to rule over all the peoples of Britain. She tells Æthelstan to come with her and points out a window, telling him that Ecgwynn, his birth mother, wants to meet him. They find themselves in a swamp filled with dead bodies, certainly the result of the sickness. Over the next decade, Edward and Æthelflæd conquered Viking Mercia and East Anglia. His retinue also included eighteen bishops and thirteen earls, six of whom were Danes from eastern England. [30] In the view of historians David Dumville and Janet Nelson he may have agreed not to marry or have heirs in order to gain acceptance. Local legal texts survive from London and Kent, and one concerning the 'Dunsæte' on the Welsh border probably also dates to Æthelstan's reign. [27] Ælfweard, Edward's eldest son by Ælfflæd, had ranked above Æthelstan in attesting a charter in 901, and Edward may have intended Ælfweard to be his successor as king, either of Wessex only or of the whole kingdom. [108], Æthelstan's court was the centre of a revival of the elaborate hermeneutic style of later Latin writers, influenced by the West Saxon scholar Aldhelm (c.639–709), and by early tenth-century French monasticism. Eadith fears that Ælfwynn is getting worse. The authority of church and state was not separated in early medieval societies, and the lay officials worked closely with their diocesan bishop and local abbots, who also attended the king's royal councils. Portrayer [80] In the view of the historian of English law Patrick Wormald, the laws must have been written by Wulfhelm, who succeeded Athelm as Archbishop of Canterbury in 926. The death of his half-brother Edwin in 933 might have finally removed factions in Wessex opposed to his rule. Æthelstan was born c.894 and died in 939, at roughly 45 years of age. Sarah Foot even made a case that Beowulf may have been composed in Æthelstan's circle. ("Episode 3.4"), Steapa and Bishop Erkenwald confiscate the twins Æthelstan and Ædgyth from their mothers and maternal grandmothers arms. The invasion was launched by land and sea. She wrote: The West Saxon court had connections with the Carolingians going back to the marriage between Æthelstan's great-grandfather Æthelwulf and Judith, daughter of the king of West Francia (and future Holy Roman Emperor) Charles the Bald, as well as the marriage of Alfred the Great's daughter Ælfthryth to Judith's son by a later marriage, Baldwin II, Count of Flanders. A gospel book he donated to Christ Church, Canterbury is inscribed "Æthelstan, king of the English and ruler of the whole of Britain with a devout mind gave this book to the primatial see of Canterbury, to the church dedicated to Christ". He seems to have been slow to react, and an old Latin poem preserved by William of Malmesbury accused him of having "languished in sluggish leisure". This endured until 927, when Æthelstan conquered Viking York, and adopted the title. User account menu. [78] His reign predates the sophisticated state of the later Anglo-Saxon period, but his creation of the most centralised government England had yet seen, with the king and his council working strategically to ensure acceptance of his authority and laws, laid the foundations on which his brothers and nephews would create one of the wealthiest and most advanced systems of government in Europe. The contacts resulted in a surge in interest in England for commemorating Breton saints. Uno de los puntos centrales de la trama de la cuarta temporada de The Last Kingdom fue el dilema del hijo mayor de Edward, Æthelstan. For all of Æthelstan's family, see below At the moment, Uhtred is … Charles Dickens had only one paragraph on Æthelstan in his Child's History of England, and although Anglo-Saxon history was a popular subject for nineteenth-century artists, and Alfred was frequently depicted in paintings at the Royal Academy between 1769 and 1904, there was not one picture of Æthelstan. [36] Tensions between Æthelstan and Winchester seem to have continued for some years. In the early sixteenth century William Tyndale justified his English translation of the Bible by stating that he had read that King Æthelstan had caused the Holy Scriptures to be translated into Anglo-Saxon. The second enforces the duty of charity on Æthelstan's reeves, specifying the amount to be given to the poor and requiring reeves to free one penal slave annually. Reign Modern historians regard him as the first King of England and one of the greatest Anglo … This was eventually issued in all regions apart from Mercia, which issued coins without a ruler portrait, suggesting, in Sarah Foot's view, that any Mercian affection for a West Saxon king brought up among them quickly declined. The show has been insanely popular and has already produced four seasons in last five years. Le roi de Bebbanburg décide de rennomer son plus jeune fils Uhtred, nom de son fils ainé. Uhtred is aware, but tells Eadith to simply reassure her. Ælfwynn claims that she’s already been taken to Winchester by Uhtred. Thomas Charles-Edwards describes it as "an improbable story", while historian John Reuben Davies sees it as the suppression of a British revolt and the confinement of the Cornish beyond the Tamar. He is the son of Edward and Ecgwynn. 257–258; Foot, Hart, "Sihtric"; Thacker, "Dynastic Monasteries and Family Cults", p. 257, Nelson, "Rulers and government", pp. 5 Æthelstan. [97] Oda may have been present at the battle of Brunanburh. Some historians believe that Sihtric renounced his wife soon after the marriage and reverted to paganism. A charter relating to land in Derbyshire, which appears to have been issued at a time in 925 when his authority had not yet been recognised outside Mercia, was witnessed only by Mercian bishops. 477–479; Foot. Constantine II ruled Scotland, apart from the southwest, which was the British Kingdom of Strathclyde. In 936 he sent an English fleet to help his foster-son, Alan II, Duke of Brittany, to regain his ancestral lands, which had been conquered by the Vikings. [c] Edwin might have fled England after an unsuccessful rebellion against his brother's rule, and his death probably helped put an end to Winchester's opposition. The West Saxons fought back under Alfred the Great, and achieved a decisive victory at the Battle of Edington. ("Episode 4.9"), Winchester, Wessex; Ælswith, Æthelstan, and Stiorra arrive in Winchester. Ælswith warns them that her son will burn them all to the ground before he concedes any of Wessex land. Æthelstan (altenglisch: Æþelstān) (* etwa 894; † 27. He was Edward's only son by his first consort, Ecgwynn. [142] Charters, law codes, and coins throw considerable light on Æthelstan's government. According to William of Malmesbury, after the meeting at Eamont Æthelstan summoned the Welsh kings to Hereford, where he imposed a heavy annual tribute and fixed the border between England and Wales in the Hereford area at the River Wye. The powerful and innovative King Æthelstan reigned only briefly (924-939), yet his achievements during those eventful fifteen years changed the course of English history. This account is regarded sceptically by historians, however, as Cornwall had been under English rule since the mid-ninth century. However, at Eamont, near Penrith, on 12 July 927, King Constantine II of Alba, King Hywel Dda of Deheubarth, Ealdred of Bamburgh, and King Owain of Strathclyde (or Morgan ap Owain of Gwent)[f] accepted Æthelstan's overlordship. At Christmas of the same year Owain of Strathclyde was once more at Æthelstan's court along with the Welsh kings, but Constantine was not. This was one reason for his close relations with European courts, and he married several of his half-sisters to European nobles[125] in what historian Sheila Sharp called "a flurry of dynastic bridal activity unequalled again until Queen Victoria's time". While she doesn’t like Uhtred, it may be the only compromise. ", Historian Kevin Halloran argues that it was Anlaf Cuaran rather than Olaf Guthfrithson who became King of York after Æthelstan's death. [99] The abbot of Saint Samson in Dol sent him some as a gift, and in his covering letter he wrote: "we know you value relics more than earthly treasure". But the extant results are, frankly, a mess. [94] Two of the leading figures in the later tenth-century Benedictine revival of Edgar's reign, Dunstan and Æthelwold, served in early life at Æthelstan's court and were ordained as priests by Ælfheah of Winchester at the king's request. Finan and Sihtric go to investigate. Æthelstan was known for the support he gave to dispossessed young royalty. On the death of his father, Edward the Elder, in 924, Athelstan was elected king of Wessex and Mercia, where he had been brought up by his aunt, Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians. 211–222. Expect teasers and trailers for the anticipated series alongside feature videos, behind the scenes interviews and more. Finan suggests that they return to Aegelesburg. [56], Æthelstan set out on his campaign in May 934, accompanied by four Welsh kings: Hywel Dda of Deheubarth, Idwal Foel of Gwynedd, Morgan ap Owain of Gwent, and Tewdwr ap Griffri of Brycheiniog. ("Episode 4.5"), Mercia; As they ride through the woods, hungry villagers rip the bread that Stiorra is eating right from her hands. ", and described him as "the most powerful ruler that Britain had seen since the Romans". [93], Æthelstan appointed members of his own circle to bishoprics in Wessex, possibly to counter the influence of the Bishop of Winchester, Frithestan. The alliance produced peace between Wales and England, and within Wales, lasting throughout Æthelstan's reign, though some Welsh resented the status of their rulers as under-kings, as well as the high level of tribute imposed upon them. Welsh kings attended Æthelstan's court between 928 and 935 and witnessed charters at the head of the list of laity (apart from the kings of Scotland and Strathclyde), showing that their position was regarded as superior to that of the other great men present. Hæsten orders his men to tie Uhtred and his men to trees so that they may die slowly. Athelstan was actually introduced in The Last Kingdom season 4, although there he is young boy, years away from becoming England’s first king. En 866, le fils ainé du roi saxon de Bebbanburg voit arriver des drakkars et est tué par le comte danois Ragnar. This advertised his newly exalted status with the inscription, "Rex Totius Britanniae". He was the son of King Edward the Elder and his first wife, Ecgwynn. [71], Beneath the ealdormen, reeves—royal officials who were noble local landowners—were in charge of a town or royal estate. The ancient royal line of the West Saxons provided an acceptable alternative, especially as they (wrongly) claimed descent from the seventh-century king and saint, Oswald, who was venerated in Germany. It was Edward’s son, Æthelstan, who first controlled the whole area that would form the kingdom of England. Athelstan, also spelled Aethelstan or Ethelstan, (died October 27, 939), first West Saxon king to have effective rule over the whole of England. Building on the foundations of his predecessors, he created the most centralised government that England had yet seen. In the view of historian John Blair, the reputation is probably well-founded, but "These waters are muddied by Æthelstan's almost folkloric reputation as a founder, which made him a favourite hero of later origin-myths.