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Wessex was a kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England occupying south-western and central southern England; its main city was Winchester. After the power of its principal rivals, Northumbria and Mercia were destroyed by Viking invasions, Wessex was the mainstay of English resistance (particularly under Alfred the Great). The kings of Wessex became kings of unified England.

The name was revived by Thomas Hardy to describe the location of most of his novels.