This chapter recounts how London had recovered its Roman pre-eminence as the principal city of the realm since the days of Edward the Confessor's father. It explains that for Æthelred, his son Edmund, and Cnut, defence had been the key to controlling both halves of England, the English territory, and the Danish territory. It also looks into Edward's decision to re-found Westminster abbey because it occupied a delightful spot near Westminster and lay near the main channel of the river. The chapter analyzes the work on Westminster as a way to improve Edward's secular residence, which is seen as a possible distraction from the spiritual edifice that manifested Edward's piety. It also points out that Westminster is the perfect location Edward could proclaim his status as a European monarch, commanding a global network that brought him Asian silks, Andalusi carpets, and spices from the Arabian Sea.
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