Anglo-Saxon Kings (2013) - not published in the series
Hardback - 9780300125344
Paperback - 9780300216134
Buy a used copy of Richard Humble's 'The Saxon Kings' from or
Between Alfred the Great and Æthelstan is the twenty-five year reign of Alfred’s son Edward the Elder. No Yale or Methuen biography exists for Edward, and precious few from any other publisher. Levi Roach points out in his recent Æthelred book that the sources are scant for many of these Saxon kings, and his deft handling of what survives for Æthelred is a master class in history and detection. Even less exists for some the other early kings of this period making it unlikely that a Yale English Monarchs book could be attempted.
As yet, no Yale biography exists for the five kings in the forty years between Æthelstan and Æthelred II: Edmund I, Eadred, Eadwig, Edgar the Peaceful and Edward the Martyr, either as individual studies or a group analysis of all the kings of this period. However, Yale has published a high-quality book on the Saxon era in general which may bridge this gap. ‘The Anglo-Saxon World’ by Nicholas Higham and Martin Ryan was published in hardback in 2013 and paperback in 2015. It is a beautifully produced book, part reference work and part history for both beginners and the more seasoned readers of the period. This Yale title is suggested reading for the periods between Alfred, Æthelstan and Æthelred
If a more narrative approach is required the classic work and arguably still the best is Frank Stenton’s ‘Anglo-Saxon England’ (1947) which is still in print and can be bought in a paperback edition. To say it is comprehensive does it an injustice. It’s a massive work at over 700 pages and no reader could walk away wanting more.
For those not at home in the Saxon world or who want a digestible account of this period could do no better than to read Richard Humble’s popular history ‘The Saxon Kings’ (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1980). This is part of the ‘’ series and is a very enjoyable read. The strength of these popular history titles is the large number of well chosen illustrative materials in each book and that the authors of each in the series were selected for their expertise in the era of the reign concerned. Two of them are English Monarchs series authors.
The Anglo-Saxon World
By Nicholas J. Higham
Professor Emeritus in History, University of Manchester
and Martin Ryan
Former Lecturer in Early Medieval History,
University of Manchester
Yale 2013 and 2015
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