In those savage times the emergence of a woman ruler was enough to betoken her possession of extraordinary qualities. Edward the Elder, as he was afterwards called, and his sister, the "Lady of the Mercians", conducted the national war in common and carried its success to heights which Alfred never knew.
Aethelflaed is a little known but remarkable and interesting historical figure. She was something of an Anglo-saxon Joan of Arc
during the dark days of the Danish
Aethelflaed was the oldest daughter of Alfred The Great
. She was married to Aethelred, Ealdorman of Mercia in an effort to seal
the merger of the remaining Anglo-Saxon kingdoms into, well,"Angleland"-now known as England . Aethelred was apparently sickly through much of his term and Aethelflaed appears to have been the woman behind the man
in Mercia and became the Unexpected Successor
after her husband's death. In partnership
with her brother Edward, King of Wessex, she led campaigns culminating in the Battle of Tettenhall which stopped the Danish advance and began the reconquest of the Danish territories.
Aethelflaed in Fiction:
- King Alfreds Daughter: The Lady of the Mercians by Marjory Grieser
- Features heavily in Bernard Cornwell's series The Saxon Stories. Particularly in the later books.
- The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle