The Anglo-Saxons

The Anglo-Saxons

A History of the Beginnings of England



'A deep dive into one of the murkiest periods of our national history ... Splendid'
DAN JONES, Sunday Times

'Beautifully written, incredibly accessible and deeply researched' JAMES O'BRIEN

'An absolute masterpiece' DAN SNOW

'Illuminates England's weird and wonderful early history with erudition and wit' IAN HISLOP
Sixteen hundred years ago Britain left the Roman Empire and swiftly fell into ruin. Grand cities and luxurious villas were deserted and left to crumble, and civil society collapsed into chaos. Into this violent and unstable world came foreign invaders from across the sea, and established themselves as its new masters.

The Anglo-Saxons traces the turbulent history of these people across the next six centuries. It explains how their earliest rulers fought relentlessly against each other for glory and supremacy, and then were almost destroyed by the onslaught of the Vikings. It explores how they abandoned their old gods for Christianity, established hundreds of churches and created dazzlingly intricate works of art. It charts the revival of towns and trade, and the origins of a familiar landscape of shires, boroughs and bishoprics.

It 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 - renowned historian Marc Morris 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.
'A rich trove of ancient wonders' IAN MORTIMER

'A fascinating journey into the world of Anglo-Saxon Britain' THE TIMES, Best Books to Read for Summer

'A much-needed book - accessible, eminently readable ... It's a gripping story, beautifully told' BERNARD CORNWELL, author of The Last Kingdom

'This is top-notch narrative history ... A big gold bar of delight' SPECTATOR

'A vivid, sharply drawn story of seven centuries of profound political change ... Superbly clear and evocative' THOMAS PENN

'A thorough and accessible account of this important period' ELEANOR PARKER, FINANCIAL TIMES

'Morris guides the reader with aplomb ... Rounded and nuanced' LITERARY REVIEW

'[A] compelling narrative of this turbulent time' PIPPA BAILEY, NEW STATESMAN


  • A deep dive into one of the murkiest ages in our national history ... Morris is an accomplished guide to the tricksy Anglo-Saxon world ... Clever, lively ... splendid new book.
    DAN JONES, Sunday Times

About the author

Marc Morris

Dr Marc Morris is a historian who specializes in the Middle Ages. He studied and taught at the universities of London and Oxford and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His other books include a bestselling history of the Norman Conquest and highly acclaimed biographies of King John and Edward I (A Great and Terrible King). He also presented the TV series Castle and wrote its accompanying book. He contributes regularly to other history programmes on radio and television and writes for numerous journals and magazines.
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