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People/Characters: Edith Swan Neck

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Works (5)

1066: What Fates Impose by G.K. Holloway
The Handfasted Wife by Carol McGrathElditha
The King's Shadow by Elizabeth Alder
The Needle in the Blood by Sarah Bower
The Norman Conquest: The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England by Marc Morris

Character description

Edith Swan-Neck, or Edith the Fair, was the first wife of Harold II Godwinson, King of England. Edith the Fair was remembered in history and folklore chiefly because it was she who identified Harold's body after the Battle of Hastings. The body was horrifically mutilated after the battle by the Norman army of William the Conqueror, and, despite pleas by Harold's mother for William to surrender Harold's body for burial, the Norman army refused, even though Harold's mother offered Harold's weight in gold. It was then that Edith the Fair walked through the carnage of the battle so that she might identify Harold by markings on his chest known only to her. It was because of Edith the Fair's identification of Harold's body that Harold was given a Christian burial by the monks at Waltham Abbey.

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