The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England
Friday 8 October
Lord Leycester Hospital
A definitive, ground-breaking history of the Anglo-Saxons by national bestselling author and renowned historian, Marc Morris.
Sixteen hundred years ago, the Roman Empire left Britain – and Britain swiftly fell into ruin. Grand cities and luxurious villas were deserted and left to crumble. Civil society collapsed into chaos. Into this violent and unstable world came foreign invaders from across the sea, who established themselves as its new masters.
The Anglo-Saxons traces the turbulent history of these people across the next six centuries. Their earliest rulers relentlessly fought each other for glory and supremacy, only to be almost destroyed by the onslaught of the Vikings. The Anglo-Saxons abandoned their old gods for Christianity, established hundreds of churches and created dazzlingly intricate works of art. This 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 – Marc 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.