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The Anglo-Saxons Reviews

The Anglo-Saxons by Marc Morris

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

Marc Morris

3.67 out of 5

3 reviews

Category: History, Non-fiction
Imprint: Hutchinson
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publication date: 20 May 2021
ISBN: 9781786330994

'An absolute masterpiece.' DAN SNOW 'A rich trove of ancient wonders.' IAN MORTIMER

3 stars out of 5
22 May 2021

"The author wisely focuses on biography to bring to life 10 chapters in the Anglo-Saxon story."

The author wisely focuses on biography to bring to life 10 chapters in the Anglo-Saxon story. Horses serve to distinguish the attitude of two bishops in the Christianisation of pagan England. The humble Chad walked everywhere, in imitation, Morris says, of St Aidan and other holy men of Ireland. (I think their inspiration was Hebrew, for the Psalms warn against setting store by the power of horses.) The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Theodore, approaching 70, had to heave Chad into the saddle with his own hands to get him on the move in the interests of evangelisation.


4 stars out of 5
15 May 2021

"makes centuries of Anglo-Saxon rivalry not just comprehensible but fascinating"

Nevertheless, Morris has produced an impressive volume, a big gold bar of delight, the special joy of which is that the florid world of Anglo-Saxon England will become known to many. As an up-to-date, accessible narrative history of the period, I know of none better.

4 stars out of 5
9 May 2021

"Morris’s splendid new book"

Around these tales fit intriguing glimpses into the everyday lives of the people, some dwelling in pit houses, a few in great halls like those described in Beowulf, and worshiping in Romanesque churches like the one that survives in Brixworth, founded during the reign of King Offa. There are tantalising hints of Anglo-Saxon survival. England’s shires are still roughly those established 1,000 years ago. Countless of our village names go back to Anglo-Saxon times. The English Church is governed from Canterbury because that’s where King Aethelberht welcomed the missionary St Augustine 14 centuries ago. Much of the Anglo-Saxon world was wiped out by the Normans, but as Morris’s splendid new book shows, there is plenty we can still see, and enjoy, today.