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The kingdom of the West Saxons, established in Hampshire in the early 6th century and gradually extended by conquest to include much of southern England. Under Alfred the Great and his successors it formed the nucleus for the Anglo‐Saxon kingdom of England. The name was revived by Thomas Hardy to designate the south‐western counties of England (especially Dorset) in which his novels are set, and is used in the titles of certain present‐day regional authorities.

Subjects: History.

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