The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England

by Marc Morris

Hardcover, 2021



Call number




Hutchinson (2021), 528 pages

User reviews

LibraryThing member Stbalbach
Having read Morris' Normal Conquest, probably the best general treatment, I was excited to next take a trip through the Early Middle Ages. It is possible to write a compelling book on ancient people with few available sources. But this is not it. Morris basically sticks to political events and as such it's a lot of names, kings disposed, and haphazard contingent history. There is little cultural history, which is essential to bring a period alive and transport the reader. It's difficult because it requires a multi-disciplinary approach and familiarity with the monologues and journals, then making it enjoyable for the general reader; but I didn't get the impression Morris is too deeply familiar with the scholarship. Not to say what he wrote is flawed, he gets the events right presumably.

I gained some new perspectives, on how politi formed starting in the 5th century and became larger in time, centered around the King, starting with a small band of raiders, a small village, who then absorb neighbors etc.. a chaotic process that took hundreds of years before finally a King of England first emerged in the 9th century. The importance of the 6th century famines caused by climatic events in creating a new society. The revival of interest in Rome in the 8th century, as part of a propaganda campaign to show Kingly legitimacy. The population increase in the 10th century after a prolonged period of peace from Viking raids, a key century in the emergence of what would eventually become the modern world.
… (more)
LibraryThing member fastred
Covers the period from the end of Roman Britain to the Norman Conquest of 1066AD. Draws on much recent scholarship, archeology and analysis, but also seeks to provide a coherent narrative for the era. The role of the church and religion, and state formation, are given prominence, as well as key individuals both ecclesiastical and royal.… (more)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

9.53 inches


1786330997 / 9781786330994
Page: 0.2261 seconds