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The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  541 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is the first continuous national history of any western people in their own language. Compiled over several centuries, it traces the migration of Saxon warlords to Roman Britain, their gradual development of a settled society and conversion to Christianity, the onslaught of the Vikings and then the Norman Conquest. It continued to be written long ...more
Paperback, 363 pages
Published August 18th 1998 by Routledge (first published 890)
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Fiona Robson
Feb 16, 2013 Fiona Robson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've intended to read this for some time now, but the Bernard Cornwell books kind of chivvied me on a bit! Why oh why oh why isn't this stuff taught in schools?????!!! It's absolutely fascinating! I had no idea William the Conqueror was such a tyrant! Of course, everything about Alfred is fascinating, but all of it was so interesting! Can feel a letter to Michael Gove coming on ...
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a blend of the accessible for example the continuous narrative of the King Stephen's reign with its well-known phrase "and men said openly that Christ and His saints slept" and the difficult - brief entries that presumably were full of significance when they were written but hard to understand without a fuller context.

It's believed that the chronicle was started in the reign of Alfred the Great - entries from that point are full and remain fairly detailed for some ye
Deborah Pickstone
I will acquire my own copy - an indispensable reference for anyone interested in Dark Ages/ Middle Ages - and fascinating, to boot!
Malcolm Little
I did not rate the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles as I would a work of fiction or even indeed a work of creative non-fiction. The work of the English chroniclers from a millennia ago is counted as a historical document. So how could I rate a historical document 3/5? There wasn’t anything wrong with the translations, so what gives?

Well, as with any chronicling of an era, historians have certain duties: to remain unbiased, to capture all walks of life, and to be accurate in regards to people, places and t
B. Hawk
Nov 08, 2011 B. Hawk rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, old-english
As the first full translation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle since 1953, Swanton's volume delivers an important text in a medium that is accessible for any reader. It is apparent that this work is the direct beneficiary of work in recent decades on the various manuscripts and versions of the Chronicle, and this is reflected in the fact that all of the extant versions are translated and presented in a comparative layout. Furthermore, the copious footnotes to the translation provide numerous comment ...more
Linda Orvis
Mar 22, 2008 Linda Orvis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English history fans
Recommended to Linda by: My English Literature Reading List
I borrowed a friend's card to the Cal State Fullerton Library to check out three volumes at a time of the 14-volume set. The books were kept on one of the top floors, and they were old and smelled like mold...mmm, my favorite book-smell. I can't believe that now the condensed set can be ordered in paperback! It took me several months to read the meticulous writing of ancient monks, (translated from Old English) and I learned so much about how the world was viewed by these scholarly men of the 9t ...more
Aubrey Bierwirth
I trudged through this for awhile. There are things I find incredibly interesting and that are so helpful for contextualization, but for just sitting down and reading, bits like the lists of bishops' deaths can get a bit frustrating.

However, there are some real jewels in the entries, like the fiery dragons in the sky, the founding/naming of towns, or the extensive description of medieval torture that stood out to me. I like how the king's ancestry is traced at first to Woden, then eventually to
Apr 21, 2008 Patrick\ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-history
Translated and edited by Mr. Anglo-Saxon, Michael Swanton. The Brit Saxons honored Church time and recorded it by memorable events. Most of it is real history, some fantasy, all attempted to be accurate and worth keeping around. A big work and one that will give hours of either boredom or enjoyment. If the imagination is unleashed, enjoyment follows. I suggest that reader direction. Recommended to Brit history folk.
Sep 26, 2014 Jur marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval, own
For some reason, my friend Nick felt it was necessary to give me a copy of Garmonsway's Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. I've had much fun looking at the differences between the versions and sifting through the kind of stuff that would interest the monks that wrote it: the death and installation of popes, bishops and abbots. Never forget that most of our impressions of medieval monarchs are based on the opinion of ecclesiastics, who had their own axes to grind.
Jan 20, 2009 Allie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent text, bought to supplement my own class textbooks, containing seven passages from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, in their original Old English. A facing-page glossary is provided for beginning students. Clear, simple passages allow the student to gain confidence in their abilities to translate from the ancient tongue.
Jeffrey Smith
Found it interesting how fully develped soceity was 1,000 years ago in the Early Middle Ages. Now I know what life was like back in the 12th Century when my earliest recorded ancestors lived. Reading the book was like reading the Bible book of Numbers. Some good stories, but buried in a chronoloical record that was maintained by Norman Monks.
Dec 16, 2015 Sarahandus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is not a book you start at the beginning and go on to the end. Unless you are more patient than I am as it's a list of happenings through the years.
Of course it helps if you know something about England's history. Then following the course of history through the eyes of some monk gives a different perspective of that history.
Apr 26, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval
Once you have even a passing knowledge of the Anglo-Saxons, you'll probably want to read through the Chronicle. Whitelock's translation features side-by-side versions of each manuscript when sources differ.
Laurie Chipman
A timeline of English royal history from the early Anglo-Saxons to a little after William the Conqueror. Starts out a little dry and could have more story telling but later gets into more stories. Sometimes hard to follow but interesting just the same.
Richard Epstein
Although important, this is tedious. About all I remember is that whilst Alfred was distracted by Charlotte, the diligent and inspiring spider, he burnt his cakes, which led to his being known forever after as The Alfred the Unready.
Aug 06, 2012 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a bit monotonous as it is a chronicle not a telling. History buffs like me will find it interesting.
Jun 02, 2007 Roseanna added it
Recommends it for: historians and archaeologists
this book contains a historical documentation of events in england most of which is not exact but is interesting nevertheless
William Harris
May 17, 2014 William Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well compiled from multiple medieval versions. This printing includes side text which helps put the entries in better context.
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