When Edward Ironside was murdered in 1016, Canute the Dane seized the crown of Wessex. The following year, conscious of the threat posed to his rule by Edmund's small sons, Edmund and Edward Ætheling, he banished them to Sweden, with a 'letter of death'. The Swedish king, however, spared their lives, and the Continental wanderings of the Anglo-Saxon princes began; their uncertain fate greatly exercised the minds of contemporary English chroniclers. Forty years later the ageing, childless Edward the Confessor learned that his nephew Edward was living in Hungary; he invited him to return home, casting him in a crucial role in the struggle to avert a Norman takeover, but forty-eight hours after his triumphant homecoming he was dead, and the events that were to lead to the Norman conquest of 1066 were set in motion. Drawing on sources from as far afield as Iceland and Kievan Russia, this account of the extraordinary years of the princes' exile is a story stranger than fiction, unravelled by Gabriel Ronay with all the excitement of a modern-day crime study. GABRIEL RONAY wrote for The Times for many years. He was born in Transylvania, and studied at the universities of Budapest and Edinburgh. He came to Britain after the crushing of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.