British history 800 -1100AD -books?

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Random Mumblings
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British history 800 -1100AD -books?

Postby Random Mumblings » Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:31 pm

After a weekend of re-enactment we have relised our knowledge of the period is practically zero!! (You don't tend to do Dark Age history in school -or at least we didn't when we were at school) Me and my hubby would like some books that will give us some insight into the period we will be attempting to recreate. We can probably order stuff from the library so it doesn't matter if they are expensive books, but we'd like them to be not too heavy going and dry. Anything on the actual history of the period (9th century up to 1066) or about certain aspects of the period would be welcome.



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Aelfric
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Postby Aelfric » Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:08 pm

The Anglo-Saxons by James Campbell is a good and readable general history covering from the end of Roman rule through to 1066, Stentons Anglo-Saxon England while heavy going and showing its age is nonetheles still worth having and covers pretty much the same time frame. Perhaps more specific to your 900 - 1100AD time line is Julian Richards Viking Age England.



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Simon_Diment
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Postby Simon_Diment » Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:13 pm

Try to be a little more specific if you can, are you looking for:

A. General books on the period.
B. Books on the Late Saxon (Englisc - or however it's spelled :lol: ) period.
C. Viking History.
D. Foundation of Normandy and expansion.
E. All of the above.

If you're after general books then I'd try your local library for starters. For more specific information then if there's a Uni nearby with a decent history section have a look at their online catalogue and go for a look.

Look through Google's scholar search, a lot of books have a taster online these days.

Good luck.


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Random Mumblings
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Postby Random Mumblings » Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:16 pm

Simon_Diment wrote:Try to be a little more specific if you can, are you looking for:

A. General books on the period.
B. Books on the Late Saxon (Englisc - or however it's spelled :lol: ) period.
C. Viking History.
D. Foundation of Normandy and expansion.
E. All of the above.

If you're after general books then I'd try your local library for starters. For more specific information then if there's a Uni nearby with a decent history section have a look at their online catalogue and go for a look.

Look through Google's scholar search, a lot of books have a taster online these days.

Good luck.


Sorry, I should have been more specific. Probably Late Saxon history primarily, although Viking and Norman stuff will be helpful too. Library is definately the way to go, but ours is a small rural one with a limited selection, which is why I was after specific recommendations so I can ask the library to order them in.



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Simon_Diment
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Postby Simon_Diment » Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:29 pm

Ah, in which case these were included in a reading list for one of my modules last year:

The Anglo Saxon Chronicles - good if you want to get confused !

Welch, M - English Heritage Book of Anglo-Saxon England. 1992

Wilson, DM- The Northern World: The history and heritage of Northern Europe AD400-1100. 1980

Davies, W - Wales in the Early Middle Ages. 1982

Haslam, J. - Anglo-Saxon Towns in Southern England. 1984.

Haslam, J. - Early Medieval Towns in Britain. 1985

Hodges, R. - The Anglo-Saxon Achievement. 1989

Carver, M. - The Age of Sutton Hoo. 1992

I really would have a trawl through a Uni website though.

I'm having a break away from an Essay on Ceramics :cry:


Bitter and Twisted IS a lifestyle option!

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Maerwynn
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Postby Maerwynn » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:49 pm

Go for the Stenton (I like Stenton) and the Campbell (pretty pictures!) which'll probably be more than enough for the summer. The Campbell has an extensive bibliography too.

You tend to find that there's nothing between these two (and their ilk) that are general histories, and stuff that focuses on a shorter period or one subject only.

The period you mention isn't generally considered a coherent whole. Up to about 850 it's pre-Alfredian, then from the landing of the Great Army in 865 till 899 it's Alfredian, then there's his family's hegemony (Æthelstan rules OK!), then Æthelræd and his flounderings 978-1014, then Swein and Cnut till 1035, then the Confessor vs the Godwins.

Is there an aspect of it you want to know more about: warfare? role of women? food? art? Christianity? Englisc?

I have found Ann Hagen's Anglo-Saxon food books useful. Steve Pollington's stuff (e.g. Meadhall) is good too, though it also takes in the early period. The Julian Richards book Ælfric mentions is super, especially because it's almost wholly archeological in focus, which is missing from Stenton (and tends to be missing from late period stuff anyway). Frank Barlow is very good on the last period (1035-1066). The history of towns and the history of the church get treated separately and are both fascinating.

Maerwynn


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Ellen Gethin
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Postby Ellen Gethin » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:07 am

Shire publications do booklets (around 64pp) on all aspects of archaeology, including Anglo-Saxon jewellery, architecture and sculpture. They also do booklets on various crafts like weaving and spinning. They're clear, interesting, and have good photos.


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Morglay
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Postby Morglay » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:38 pm

Try this site:

http://www.asbooks.co.uk/

{You can find most of these books at 'Amazon'}

Intruductory Books:
Anglo-Saxon England - Martin Welch - English Heritage
Hastings 1066 - Christopher Gravett - Osprey
The Saxon Kings - Richard Humble
Domesday - Michael Wood - Guild Publishing
The Anglo-Saxons - Geoffrey Hindley - Robinson


Mike

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valen
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Postby valen » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:09 pm

One of the most interesting books I've ever read was 'Early Irish farming', by Kelly. It's amazing; he goes through all the first millenium law texts & manuscripts and pulls out a very detailed picture of a world that's closer to the Masai Mara than Europe. I couldn't recommend it highly enough.

http://www.oxbowbooks.com/bookinfo.cfm/ ... tion/Oxbow

John



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purple peril
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Postby purple peril » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:46 am

Aha, I was going to post a link to Oxbow Books, but I see I've been beaten to it. It is a very dangerous place, particularly so if you make the pilgrimage to Oxford. Stick with the website - it's safer all round :roll:



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ViscontesseD'Asbeau
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Postby ViscontesseD'Asbeau » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:14 pm

Not much of a one for history books, but I like Bill Griffiths' 'Aspects of Anglo Saxon Magic'.

And it's a translation so loose it's virtually a different poem, but still enjoy Seamus Heaney's translation of 'Beowulf'.

Is a nice kids' edition of 'Beowulf' just come out, illustrated by John Howe.

The Elder Edda (Snorri Sturluson's Edda) is good for a sense of vikings - if you can find a modern translation. Bit less deadly than sagas and although written down in the later period, has lots of older content.

Brian Bates' 'The Real Middle Earth' gives a good sense of the culture.

Only a little book but v interesting is Kathleen Herbert's 'Looking For The Lost Gods of England'. Also Hilda Ellis Davidson's 'Gods and Myths of Northern Europe'.

Stephen Pollington's 'Leechcraft: Early English Charms, Plant Lore & Healing' looks fantastic - I keep picking it up at fairs, but still not bought it due to the price. But I will! Pollington's First Steps In Old English is a must buy for anyone contemplating learning Old English. I wish I'd had it years ago at uni! There's also a little dictionary I forget who by, but it's called something like Word Hoard which is seriously useful.




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