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Escaping from Brunanburh and John of Worcester

Cavill, Paul

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Paul Cavill


The battle around Brunanburh in 937 has aroused debate particularly about where it was fought. Many locations have been suggested and a serious contender, Bromborough on the Wirral, has often been too easily dismissed. The article examines some of the assumptions underlying current theories about where the battle took place and particularly how the defeated armies fled, with a view to assessing their accuracy in terms of the evidence available in the sources. It is demonstrated that some theories are based on mistaken assumptions about what the sources say and about the proposals advanced for the Wirral location. The paper then analyses the evidence from John of Worcester in some detail to show that the formulaic character of his writing casts doubt on the reliability of his Humber entry story and highlights the fact that he, and other writers, do not assert that the Humber was the site of the flight of the fugitives.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 15, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 28, 2022
Publication Date Aug 18, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 27, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal English Studies
Print ISSN 0013-838X
Electronic ISSN 1744-4217
Publisher Informa UK Limited
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 103
Issue 6
Pages 899-919
Keywords Literature and Literary Theory; Linguistics and Language
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