In Our Time

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Danish prince who became a very effective King of England in 1016.

Cnut inherited a kingdom in a sorry state. The north and east coast had been harried by Viking raiders, and his predecessor King Æthelred II had struggled to maintain order amongst the Anglo-Saxon nobility too. Cnut proved to be skilful ruler. Not only did he bring stability and order to the kingdom, he exported the Anglo-Saxon style of centralised government to Denmark. Under Cnut, England became the cosmopolitan centre of a multi-national North Atlantic Empire, and a major player in European politics.


Erin Goeres
Associate Professor of Old Norse Language and Literature at University College London

Pragya Vohra
Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of York


Elizabeth Tyler
Professor of Medieval Literature and Co-Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York