Lindy Brady
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Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo
in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England
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The Life of Harold Godwinson is an unsteady blend of hagiography and pseudo-history that was composed in defence of a defeated Anglo-Saxon king at a point well into the Anglo-Norman period. Harold is the last Anglo-Saxon in Anglo-Norman England; in his Vita Haroldi, the Welsh borderlands are the last place where this English identity can survive. The Welsh borderlands in the Vita Haroldi serve as the last refuge of a past identity, a place where the last Anglo-Saxon king can hide in plain sight. The preservation of Englishness in this region of cultural nexus over a century after the Battle of Hastings reflects the strength of the society that flourished there for so many centuries. After the arrival of the Normans had altered so much in England, the Welsh borderlands remained as a last embodiment of Anglo-Saxon England.

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