A general and social History of Medieval England from the departure of the Romans to the establishment of England as a unified Country, concentrating on the people rather than just the battles.
It follows the ebb and flow of the regions of what was to become England, from the landing of the first Anglo-Saxons Hengest and Horsa invited by King Vortigern through the coming of Christianity and the re-establishment of the written word which led to the Laws of Aethelberht in the early 7th Century, then through what was known as the Heptarchy or period of Seven Kingdoms, and the dominance of the English language and perhaps why it won out.
How first Northumbria is powerful and the reign of Eadwine, through Mercia and the pagan Penda eventually to Offa who as Bretwalda was nearly equal in power to Charlemagne the Great in the 8th Century establishes the Silver penny and the start of stable currency, still used today.
It covers the change from Freeman to Thegn (peasant Farmer) and Women's role in Anglo-Saxon society, what the Economic effects of a lack of money in circulation had on the Country, and how this affects the population as a whole and population growth, including farming development, clothes what dies for colour were used and how buildings functioned during the Anglo Saxon period.
The important battles are there, the Campaigns are followed, but it is what this does to the people as a whole that is noted, and how the Law developed framed by the Kings and enforced by them, to try and show some fairness and justice.
The arrival of St. Augustine in the 6th Century, giving rise to Christianity via St. Columba and the Venerable Bede and how first the Irish Church was pre-eminent and the Roman church nearly marginalized, but then came to the fore again. How St Dunstan was for many years the hand that held the budding Kingdom of Engalnd together through to Eadward the Confessor, the volume ends on the eve of change.
Kings that help shape the emerging Nation, but also how the Laws and Economy shaped the Country, who was good and who was bad. From the famous such as Alfred the Great to the obscure like his Daughter Aethelflaed who was nearly airbrushed from history yet won at least three glorious battles, how Realms rose and fell before Wessex eventually spreads to become England, and the Danelaw merges into the whole and a single Nation.
All told in an easy style that makes you want to read more.
If you are looking for a straight forward general History giving a social slant based on authoritative sources of Dark Ages England and its emergence into a Nation amid the turmoil of the Viking raids, then this will delight.
Includes 47 Illustrations, plus 9 Maps.
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