A Short History of the Danish Conquest

by Eleanor Parker

In 1016, England was conquered by the Danish king Cnut, after a long and violent conflict which ended in England becoming part of Cnut's Scandinavian empire. Compared with the Norman Conquest, fifty years later, the Danish Conquest has always been somewhat overlooked, but it had long-lasting political and cultural consequences for England. This essay explores the events leading up to the conquest of 1016 and reflects on its aftermath and legacy.

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About the Author


Eleanor Parker

Eleanor Parker is a writer and academic based in Oxford, England. She has a doctorate in medieval literature from the University of Oxford and researches and teaches Old and Middle English literature. Her academic research focuses on the literature and history of the Vikings in England and the relationship between historical writing, fiction, and romance in the post-Conquest period. She has published several articles on Anglo-Danish literary culture and the reign of Cnut, and is the author of the blog A Clerk of Oxford and a columnist for History Today.