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The Anglo-Saxons

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  456 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
This survey, an introduction to the history of Anglo-Saxon England looks at political history, and religious, cultural, social, legal and economic themes are woven in. Throughout the book the authors make use of original sources such as chronicles, charters, manuscripts and coins, works of art, archaelogical remains and surviving buildings.The nature of power and kingship, ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 28th 1991 by Penguin (first published July 1st 1982)
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Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Out of some sort of stupid snobbery (it's a coffee table book and full of glossy pictures, must be rubbish, I'll stick with Stenton) I've avoided this book like the plague. On finding a cheap hardcover edition in a secondhand bookshop, I decided that I'd give it a try.

The main text of the book is written by James Campbell, Patrick Wormald and Eric John, each supplying chapters on their particular field of expertise. These chapters trace the history of the English from the collapse of the Roman E
Excellent introduction to the Anglo-Saxons. Well illustrated with essays from a variety of scholars. A book you can dip in and out of or read from cover to cover.

Although this was a large format book somehow I managed to loose it. One day it was a sitting there, apparently happily, on the shelf. Next thing I know, it was gone.

Absence truly makes the heart grow fonder, and so it may well be that this book has grown better in my imagination since loosing it than it actually was when I was reading
Jul 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medieval-studies
I read this book when I was studying for prelims (a while back, shall we say). I switched to Anglo-Saxon studies from Middle English studies shortly before I finished coursework, so I had quite a bit of catch-up to do. This book accomplished that and gave me a solid framework to take to the more detailed works like Stenton's Anglo-Saxon England. It also has beautiful plates that I've used nearly every semester since I've started teaching.
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medieval
If you're interested in the Anglo-Saxons but don't know where to start, pick up this book. Written by the top Anglo-Saxonists working today, this well-illustrated volume will give a great overview of the culture and point you toward additional resources, if you just can't get enough.
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Three historians have compiled an in-depth chronicle of the Anglo-Saxon era. James Campbell, Patrick Wormald, and Eric John began with the Roman rule in Britain, and ended with the Battle of Hastings. Specific studies of Christianity, German settlers, reigns of kings, manuscripts, Vikings, warfare, and key battles are all explored.
The Anglo-Saxons is a large glossy paperback. A must-have for all readers of British history, especially those keen on the Anglo-Saxon era.

My Thoughts:
I love
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been reading lots of books on Anglo Saxon history as part of some research I’m doing, and so far this is definitely the best. It’s a very accessible and comprehensive book, written by numerous authors, that covers pretty much everything you need to know about Britain circa 449 AD to 1066. It tells of the battles, of the kings, the tribes and the alliances, right from the early days when our post-Roman country was subject to Germanic invaders, through warring kings, the coming of the Vikings ...more
Deane Foster Schulze III
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A required read for my Anglo-Saxon course at University. This text is prepared almost perfectly and has become my companion on many quiet evenings. A great addition to anyone with an interest in ancient British history.
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
It was useful and I will return to it many times for reference no doubt. At a different level, the actual size of the book didn't encourage me to read it - didn't fit in my bag!!! On the other hand, some books don't lend themselves to a smaller format, so can't really complain. Would have been nice to have more of the maps in colour, but not in terms of cost.
Megan Hattey
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
Really great summary and description of the Anglo-Saxon period in England. However, I didn't care much for the writing style or organization, which made it hard to fully enjoy.
Jun 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anglophiles, those interested in the Anglo-Saxons
Shelves: history, college, research
Fantastic starting point for learning about Anglo-Saxon England. Complete with wonderful pictures.
Rob Markley
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
Far too dry. Hard to see where this book was aimed as it doesn't seem to hit any target. Nevertheless it is worthwhile
Jan 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Save for the fact that I find the Anglo-Saxons to be dreadfully boring, this book was a very good read. It was well-written and clear, it held tons of information, and it had interesting photos on every page that really helped illustrate what life was like for the Anglo-Saxons. I recommend this book over the other well-respected text in this subject, Peter Hunter Blair's "An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England".
Daniel Bristow-Bailey
Great overview, and the photos and illustrations really help, both by giving examples of the archaeological evidence on which the writers are basing their conclusions, and also to give the reader an idea of what life in Anglo-Saxon England might have looked like.
I read this before diving in to Sir Frank Stenton's magnum opus "Anglo-Saxon England", and it definitely helped give me a head-start with what would otherwise have been a pretty daunting read.
Lee Broderick
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: archaeology
This book is very well regarded by Early Mediaeval archaeologists and has become recommended reading for a generation of university students in Britain. Whether because of other circumstances in my life at the time or not, I'm afraid I wasn't convinced.
Michael Wills
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
An easily read history of the Anglo Saxons, richly illustrated. A classic.
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
English history
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great, really liked it.
Keith Miller
The Anglo-Saxons (Penguin History) (1991)
Nov 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-school
It was a bit dry at parts and hard to get through. But not bad for a history book.
Pearl Mateos
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Prof. James Campbell MA, Hon DLitt, FBA, FSA was Tutorial Fellow and Professor of Medieval History at Worcester College, Oxford. He has published extensively on the medieval period and on Anglo-Saxon studies.

He celebrated his 80th birthday in 2015.
More about James Campbell...