Thursday, November 15, 2018

New Biography: The Dramatic Life Of The Mercian Queen, Osthryth

(A scene of Beowulf from a 1909 book by Zénaïde Alexeïevna (1835-1924) and George Timothy (1864-1956), [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)

Osthryth had such a complicated family life that she could put Shakespeare’s story of Romeo and Juliet to shame. Her father was King Oswiu (or Oswy), ruler of Northumbria between the years 642 and 670. At that time, the Northumbrians had a bitter feud with the Mercians—Oswiu only became king of Northumbria after his brother, King Oswald (r. 634-642), was slain and dismembered by King Penda of Mercia. Oswiu avenged his brother by killing King Penda during the Battle of Winwaed, which occurred in 655. After Penda’s death, Oswiu occupied a portion of Mercia and let the rest remain ruled by a puppet ruler. The puppet, interestingly enough, was a man named Peada, who happened to be a son of Penda.

Continue reading about the intense life of Queen Osthryth, HERE

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