A definitive, ground-breaking history of the Anglo-Saxons by national bestselling author Marc Morris.
Sixteen hundred years ago, Britain left the Roman Empire and fell swiftly 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, 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 artifacts—national bestselling 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.
Marc Morris is a historian specializing in the Middle Ages. He is the author of A Great and Terrible King; King John; and the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling The Norman Conquest. Marc lives in England.
“Stunning in its action and drama, this book illuminates fully what turns out to have been a tangled and violent passage in history.”
– Kansas City Star, A Best Book of the Year (Praise for The Norman Conquest)
“Meticulous and absorbing. Where Morris’ book really excels is in its understanding of the conquest’s ramifications for the nation’s demographics, language, and ruling elite."
– Providence Journal, A Best Book of the Year (Praise for The Norman Conquest)
“A historian who specializes in the Middle Ages, especially that period’s monarchies and aristocracy, Morris takes thoroughness to new heights as he compares all the available sources in this valuable text. A thoroughly enjoyable book from an historian’s historian who can write for the masses.”
– Kirkus Reviews (starred) (Praise for The Norman Conquest)