In 1016, fifty years before Hastings, England is under threat of conquest from the young Viking leader, Cnut. Aethelred the Unready had proved unable to defend his kingdom, but his son Edmund proves a far more powerful and courageous warrior. Has the damage already been done, or will Edmund reprise the glories of his ancestors and victory for England and, for himself, the Rex Factor?
The last of the boy kings and one of the most infamous of the Saxons, poor Aethelred has a rather torrid time. As if coming to the throne after his brother was murdered was not enough, he is faced with the most powerful Viking force in a century and struggles to keep the Scandinavian hordes at bay. Listen in to find out why this reign sets us on the path to 1066, why we really shouldn't call him "unready" and how he makes a mockery of our scoring system.
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Following the triumphal reign of Edgar the Peaceable, everything was looking rosy for the Saxons, but life is far from easy for our fifth boy king and the nation's fortunes enter into something of a rapid decline. Why does everything fall apart so quickly? Why is Edward rather ominously known as 'the martyr'? Find out in Rex Factor!