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A Brief History Of The Anglo Saxons

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  169 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Running from about AD 400 to the 1100s, this book shows the Anglo-Saxons as formative in the history of England and Europe. The society, inspired by the world of the Old English poem 'Beowulf', saw England become the first European country to conduct its affairs in its own language.
Paperback, 404 pages
Published 2006 by Robinson Publishing
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Community Reviews

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Nick
Feb 04, 2010 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Where to begin on this book... I guess I learned things. I shouldn't imply that it wasn't educational.

Unfortunately, the book just attempted to do too much. It covers the history of England from about 450 AD to 1066 AD. It does this in about 330 exceptionally dense pages.

It reads more like the Bibles's begetting section. You know... "Tim beget Jim and Jim beget Susan and Susan beget Thurstan, etc etc"

If the book is covering a major event, there's so-so explanations, but most times it never exac
...more
Richard
Sep 09, 2010 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is essentially an overview of the period and as such is a starting point for wider reading. People wanting a more 'enjoyable' read should try Michael Wodd's In Search of the Dark Ages
In Search of the Dark Ages by Michael Wood
Rachel
Honestly the first half of the book is a bit of a drag until you get to Alcuin of York and Alfred the Great .... the vikings and the norman conquest of 1066. The appendices are helpful too.
Elentarri
May 05, 2017 Elentarri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-europe
A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons covers the Anglo-Saxon history from A.D. 400 (around the time of their invasion of England) through to the 1100s (the ‘Aftermath' of the Norman invasion). Geoffrey Hindley not only includes the Anglo-Saxon influence on the British Isles but also how they influenced mainland Europe. Despite being a "brief" history, this book covers a wealth of information, including culture, religion, and literature as well as military aspects. Geoffrey Hindley has a scholarly ...more
Alan
Mar 23, 2017 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I enjoyed this overall as I've read a good deal about Anglo-Saxon England and was familiar with nearly all the figures covered, but I felt there was an odd amount of time spent of events in continental Europe with the Franks, especially since was intended as a "brief history." But I'm spoiled by the level of detail from The British History Podcast. This is still a good overview of the Anglo-Saxons.
Richard Worden
Jul 02, 2017 Richard Worden rated it it was amazing
Lots of details, facts, figures, and people in this important study of the evolution of Great Britain.
Ashley Catt
After proclaiming two books ago (when I had this book in the 'read soon' section of my mind library) that I do not agree with the concept of 'a brief history of...' history books and that I would try to steer clear of them, I happen to have stumbled upon another one (and by that, I mean that I read it). This is now making me wonder how many of these books that I have in my collection. However, this isn't so relevant.

This book is very much self-explanatory. It is indeed a history of the Anglo-Sax
...more
Glenn
Dec 16, 2015 Glenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The Anglo-Saxons have possibly had a bad press over the centuries. However, I find them fascinating, because of their enigmatic aura, and the period is stimulating, partly because it is so fragmented, nebulous and confusing.

In this book, the author makes allowances for scenarios other than those which have achieved something of a consensus. He often sets the Anglo-Saxon phenomenon in the wider context of Medieval Europe, and the formation of the "post-Roman" landscape. There is necessarily a hea
...more
Damien Black
Dec 18, 2016 Damien Black rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I haven't read this book in its entirety, just selected chapters that interested me, so this isn't an exhaustive review.

What I have read is informative and engaging, which is about as much as you can ask from any work of history. Among some of the nuggets I've gleaned is that the celebrated 9th-century king Alfred the Great may well have saved Wessex from the Vikings, but he wasn't the first true king of England: that epithet must go to his grandson Aethelstan, who finally secured the borders of
...more
Kari
Jul 10, 2011 Kari rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This was a really interesting book, with a lot of information to take in. Hindley drew on current research and theories to give a well rounded account of the Anglo-Saxon period, discussing varying topics such as literature, law, invasion and kingship. I found that it was sometimes a struggle at times to keep the lineages clear in my head, and not get confused with the key figures who shared very similar names. Hindley's style of writing was difficult at times with some sentences running into fiv ...more
Kevin Aston Hoey
Aug 17, 2014 Kevin Aston Hoey rated it really liked it
It is a fairly detailed history of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain from approximately from 600 AD. The book generally follows the chronology of the influence of the various kingdoms that went on to become England. It begins with accounts of the arrival of the Angles, Saxons Jutes etc to Britain then details the main early kingdoms of southern England (Sussex, Essex, Kent, Wessex), where the early power lay. Then he looks at the Northumbrian and Mercian spheres of importance. Then comes the arrival o ...more
Brendan
Jun 26, 2013 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucid, concise, engagingly written and paced to perfection, this is a splendid general history that presents the reader with a vividly drawn portrait of Anglo-Saxon England: not at all a barbarous "dark age" kingdom, but a vibrant culture whose evolution from heroic warrior society to ordered civilisation was matched by the splendour of its artistic, literary, and spiritual achievements. Hindley's eye is discerning, his narrative filled with humorous asides and wry observations as he guides the ...more
Joshua
Aug 15, 2015 Joshua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is the first history of Anglo-Saxon England that I've read, and it's as advertised. Relatively brief (some 353 pages, excluding appendices, notes, and bibliography), it chronicles the advent of the Anglo-Saxons and their eclipse by the Normans. Depending on your interests, some chapters will be the driest things you've ever read; others will be enthralling. The author, Hindley, does a good job of balancing facts and historiography, and of balancing primary sources and secondary theories. Th ...more
Michael Cayley
Sep 13, 2013 Michael Cayley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is a very readable and informative overview of the Anglo-Saxons. It incorporates recent research and archaeological discoveries, and covers political, military, ecclesiastical, social and cultural history. The key role of the church is described, but in a way which is balanced by other aspects of the history of the epoch. Thoroughly recommended.
Amy Huntley
Sep 07, 2010 Amy Huntley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book a great way to get an overview of The Anglo-Saxons, and it was also a good companion to have while reading from Cornwell's Anglo-Saxon Tales. I like that it gives a strong understanding of the overall impact of the Anglo-Saxon culture and role in the development of modern nation states.
Jim Kearnan
Jan 01, 2017 Jim Kearnan rated it really liked it
Well written. Information provided from a good selection of resources, albeit heavily weighted on the faucet of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. But that is to be expected, as it is the most important collection of annals of that period and couldn't be more pertinent, given its conception, birth and even death was of the period itself. Nevertheless, a fine read.
Alvin Dulcan
Aug 12, 2015 Alvin Dulcan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was the worst history book I ever read. How many Ethelreds can there be. It was all date and name with very little background. The audible reader made it even worse. Oh well, you can't win them all.
Pieter
Dec 19, 2014 Pieter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: geschiedenis
Highlighting a period that is not so known, especially outside England. The invasion of William the Conqueror wiped away much of the cultural, political and linguistic Anglo-Saxon tradition (Alfred the Great, Beowulf, Danelaw, Offa,...), but it would be a pity to be forgotten about.
Jennifer
Aug 07, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Took awhile to get into but very informative and very interesting to see how Anglo-Saxon culture continued after the Norman Conquest. Things would have been so different if King Harold had defeated William. Great read!
Naomi
Jan 17, 2014 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book on one of my favourite periods of history.
Wendalynn Donnan
Mar 30, 2013 Wendalynn Donnan rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy history, and if you can get a wide range of books revolving around the time you most enjoy it makes for s good time.
Luke
Apr 10, 2015 Luke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brief, straightforward, good introduction.
Benjamin
Jan 29, 2016 Benjamin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unimpressed with his format, and general lack of clarity. Felt like he was doing both too much and too little at the same, lost in the forest as it were. Maps were good, but poorly used.
Steph
Mar 05, 2013 Steph rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
Oh dear, I'm giving up on this one. I'm genuinely interested in the subject, but this book is so dull I just know I'm never going to get through it
Rachel
Feb 01, 2015 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable and helpful outline, slightly spoiled for me by a lack of awareness of the significance of Wearmouth as well as Jarrow.
Rob Wiltsher
Sep 05, 2011 Rob Wiltsher rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone with an interest in this country's history and legacy
Extremely readable but not to its' detriment....informative but not over-indulgent.
Agnes
Agnes rated it really liked it
Oct 03, 2015
Karen
Karen rated it liked it
Mar 04, 2013
Sam Rothwell
Sam Rothwell rated it liked it
Sep 01, 2016
Chris Felton
Chris Felton rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2011
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