The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Brought to you by Penguin.
Sixteen hundred years ago, Britain left the Roman Empire and swiftly fell into ruin. Grand cities and luxurious villas were deserted and left to crumble, and civil society collapsed into chaos. Into this violent and unstable world came foreign invaders from across the sea and established themselves as its new masters.
The Anglo-Saxons traces the turbulent history of these people across the next six centuries. It explains how their earliest rulers fought relentlessly against each other for glory and supremacy and then were almost destroyed by the onslaught of the Vikings. It explores how they abandoned their old gods for Christianity, established hundreds of churches and created dazzlingly intricate works of art. It charts the revival of towns and trade, and the origins of a familiar landscape of shires, boroughs and bishoprics. It is a tale of famous figures like King Offa, Alfred the Great and Edward the Confessor, but also features a host of lesser-known characters - ambitious queens, revolutionary saints, intolerant monks and grasping nobles. Through their remarkable careers, we see how a new society, a new culture and a single unified nation came into being.
Drawing on a vast range of original evidence - chronicles, letters, archaeology and artefacts - renowned historian Marc Morris illuminates a period of history that is only dimly understood, separates the truth from the legend and tells the extraordinary story of how the foundations of England were laid.
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|Listening Length||13 hours and 18 minutes|
|Audible.in Release Date||20 May 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #12,502 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#31 in Great Britain History
#29,449 in History (Books)
Top reviews from other countries
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.