The Anglo-Saxon World

N. J. Higham and M. J. Ryan

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October 27, 2015
496 pages, 7 1/2 x 9 11/16
100 color illus., 40 line drawings, 60 maps
ISBN: 9780300216134
Paper

Also Available in:
Cloth

The Anglo-Saxon period, stretching from the fifth to the late eleventh century, begins with the Roman retreat from the Western world and ends with the Norman takeover of England. Between these epochal events, many of the contours and patterns of English life that would endure for the next millennium were shaped. In this authoritative work, N. J. Higham and M. J. Ryan reexamine Anglo-Saxon England in the light of new research in disciplines as wide ranging as historical genetics, paleobotany, archaeology, literary studies, art history, and numismatics. The result is the definitive introduction to the Anglo-Saxon world, enhanced with a rich array of photographs, maps, genealogies, and other illustrations.

 

The Anglo-Saxon period witnessed the birth of the English people, the establishment of Christianity, and the development of the English language. With an extraordinary cast of characters (Alfred the Great, the Venerable Bede, King Cnut), a long list of artistic and cultural achievements (Beowulf, the Sutton Hoo ship-burial finds, the Bayeux Tapestry), and multiple dramatic events (the Viking invasions, the Battle of Hastings), the Anglo-Saxon era lays legitimate claim to having been one of the most important in Western history.

N. J. Higham is professor emeritus, University of Manchester. M. J. Ryan is a former lecturer in early medieval history, University of Manchester.

"[The authors] deserve the highest congratulations for this prodigious and delightful achievement, the very best book this reviewer has ever read about the Anglo-Saxons."—Choice

"Full of fresh and original insights, and a delight to peruse, with informative maps and rich illustrations, this is a thought-provoking account that will be of value to specialists but accessible to the much wider range of readers who are fascinated by this formative period in British history. You could hardly have a better, more timely, and more attractive demonstration of why the Anglo-Saxons still matter to us."—Michael Wood, author of In Search of the Dark Ages

"University of Manchester academics Nicholas J Higham and Martin J Ryan reveal the richly textured tapestry woven between the last days of the Roman Empire and the Norman conquest of England. Drawing on a rich array of sources and disciplines such as historical genetics, paleobotany, and numismatics, the authors use primary material, illustrations, maps, photographs and genealogies to bring alive a part of history which 'witnessed the birth of the English people, the establishment of Christianity and the development of the English language.' Superb."—William Yeoman, The West Australian

"This superb book explains clearly and engagingly how the nation of England began. A comprehensive, readable and up-to-date account of an extraordinarily creative period of history."—Francis Pryor, author of Britain AD: The Quest for Arthur, England and the Anglo-Saxons

". . . may well establish itself as the standard one-volume study of Anglo-Saxon England for several years to come."—Parergon

"Higham and Ryan are . . . to be congratulated on their overall achievement. The book is immensely readable, and the new scientific and archaeological evidence it presents is bound to fascinate students."—Catherine E. Karkov, University of Leeds, UK

"[The Anglo-Saxon World is a] new standard survey of Anglo-Saxon history . . . a very valuable resource."—Rory Naismith, Speculum
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