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The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England Paperback – 2 Jun. 2022
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THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
'[A] clever, lively ... splendid new book'
DAN JONES, SUNDAY TIMES
'A big gold bar of delight'
Sixteen hundred years ago Britain left the Roman Empire and swiftly fell into ruin. Into this violent and unstable world came foreign invaders from across the sea, and established themselves as its new masters. In this sweeping and original history, renowned historian Marc Morris separates the truth from the legend and tells the extraordinary story of how the foundations of England were laid.
'Marc Morris is a genius of medieval narrative'
IAN MORTIMER, author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England
'Brilliant ... Beautifully written, incredibly accessible and deeply researched'
'A much-needed book ... A gripping story, beautifully told'
BERNARD CORNWELL, author of The Last Kingdom
'Highly informative and hugely enjoyable'
'A vivid, sharply drawn story of seven centuries of profound political change'
THOMAS PENN, author of The Winter King
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From the Publisher
Dr Marc Morris
Dr Marc Morris is a historian who specializes in the Middle Ages. He studied and taught at the universities of London and Oxford and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His other books include a bestselling history of the Norman Conquest and highly acclaimed biographies of King John and Edward I (A Great and Terrible King). He also presented the TV series Castle and wrote its accompanying book. He contributes regularly to other history programmes on radio and television and writes for numerous journals and magazines.
A vivid, sharply drawn story of seven centuries of profound political change, told with wit, authority and shrewd historical judgement. The Anglo-Saxons is a superbly clear and evocative journey through England's beginnings, and Marc Morris is a wonderful guide. ― Thomas Penn
This is a much-needed book - an accessible, eminently readable account of the peoples who first made England. It's a gripping story, beautifully told! ― Bernard Cornwell, author of The Last Kingdom
About the Author
- Publisher : Penguin (2 Jun. 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 528 pages
- ISBN-10 : 152915698X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1529156980
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
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In ten chapters, each prefaced by a map and around 40 pages in length, Morris tells the story of an emerging English nation from the semi-mythical first arrivals to these shores of Hengist and Horsa, to the calamitous Battle of Hastings, taking in the break-out reigns of Alfred and Athelstan and the lives of powerful reforming churchmen such as the future saints Wilfrid and Dunstan. Relations between Church and State run through the book, as do the interactions, mostly mutually disastrous, of Anglo-Saxon and Dane.
Eminently readable, and with excellent colour photographs as well as many more black-and-white ones throughout, ‘The Anglo-Saxons’ establishes a sound baseline from which to explore in more detail (there is an extensive bibliography as well as notes / references and index) aspects of Anglo-Saxon society and culture and the development of governmental and religious thinking and institutions.
This book takes us from the times of the Romans in Britain, to the times the natives were bullied by the Picts and the Scots from up north. It was in the latter times that the natives of the south employed Saxons to fight off the Picts, but the mercenaries from Scandinavia had ambitions of conquests on their minds. They stayed and they had a role to play in the creation of England through the ancient kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, Sussex, East Anglia, and Kent.
As Morris says, ‘despite their very real and occasionally violent differences…the people in these Anglo-Saxon kingdoms regarded themselves as a single ethnic group- a group that we can reasonably start to describe as “English”. The word, of course, derives from Angli, or Angles’. The Anglo-Saxon era ended on 14 October 1066 when William the Conqueror defeated King Harold at the battle of Hastings, ushering in the era of the Normans.
In between, we are treated to fascinating accounts of the constant raids by people from the north of Europe – people described as ‘Vikings’. Although neither their exploits nor their dressing (horn caps) are in truth as exciting as myths portray them, their participation in the making of England is crucial and interesting, if not riveting.