By the infamous year 1066, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms had been in decline for two centuries as they battled to defend Britain from the relentless Viking incursions. The Danes had won in the end and established their own rule over Britain, though it was tenuous, at best. The Danish occupation disintegrated during the reign of Harthacnut in 1041, and in response the Vikings turned to Edward the Confessor to help salvage their control of Britain. Edward was a true Anglo-Saxon, born into the House of Wessex as a descendant of Alfred the Great. When Harthacnut chose Edward as the next king, it...

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