Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Svein/ Swyn: Characters in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Series

Svein I, Haraldsson Forkbeard (1014 AD)After deposing his father, Harald Gormsson, Blue-Tooth, from the throne, Svein became king of Denmark in 985. From 994, on, he made a career out of attacking England and received the notorious Danegeld paid by Æthelred II. In 1013, Svein returned to England, not for more Danegeld, but with the idea of capturing the throne. On this expedition, he took with him, his son, Knut Sveinsson, who would later rule England as Canute I. The thought of engaging Svein and his son, Knut, in battle apparently did not thrill Æthelred, and caused him to vacate his throne in favour of a safe haven in Normandy. The vacant throne was seized by Svein, who held it for a mere five weeks. He died in February, 1014.

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