Item description for The Anglo-Saxon Age: A Very Short Introduction by John Blair...
John Blair's Very Short Introduction to the Anglo-Saxon Age covers the emergence of the earliest English settlements to the Norman victory in 1066. This book is a brief introduction to the political, social, religious, and cultural history of Anglo-Saxon England and it is the most comprehensive and authoritative short guide to the Anglo-Saxon age available.
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Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.22" Width: 4.4" Height: 0.26" Weight: 0.2 lbs.
Release Date Jul 11, 2002
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 0192854038 ISBN13 9780192854032
Availability 0 units.
More About John Blair
John Blair is Fellow and Prelector in Modern History, The Queen's College, Oxford. His publications include Early Medieval Surrey (1991), Anglo-Saxon Oxfordshire (1994), Ministers and Parish Churches (1988), English Medieval Industries (1991), The Cloister and the World (1996), and The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society (forthcoming).
Reviews - What do customers think about The Anglo-Saxon Age: A Very Short Introduction?
A good overview - informative and accessible Apr 21, 2008
I am a big fan of the idea behind the Very Short Introduction series, and the way in which they provide information in an easily accessible manner. John Blair's "The Anglo-Saxon Age", while not the best example in the series, is certainly up there.
The book is set out in roughly chronological fashion, tracing the political development of England from the earliest settlements in c.450 through to that famous date of English history, 1066. Where it becomes appropriate, Blair takes the opportunity to bring in developments in society, religious culture, and trade and the economy - and it must be said that this structure works very well. The book contains plenty of illustrations to give flavour to the information. There is a list of suggested further reading at the back, which is commendable, although it could be more extensive considering the size of the subject concerned. Similarly, although there are maps to provide context, just two isn't quite enough to show the complex political and territorial changes.
To cover the entire Anglo-Saxon period - a whole six centuries - in just 90 pages (only 75 of which are the main text) was always going to be a tall order. Compare this with "The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction", which weighs in at 150 pages, a better length which allows for a more in-depth study of the subject matter. As a result "The Anglo-Saxon Age" remains only an overview of the subject, although a very respectable one. It is more easily digestible and certainly less daunting than one of the standard histories, such as "Anglo-Saxon England" by Frank Stenton (although that might be more useful for a student of medieval history). It might be worth also considering James Campbell's "The Anglo-Saxons", or Michael Wood's "In Search of the Dark Ages" as good places to start.
At the price this book is being offered by this site, it is nonetheless a good buy for the casual reader or for someone encountering the Anglo-Sazon period for the first time. Recommended.
The making of England Jan 29, 2007
With the main text being only 75 pages, this is a very short Very Short Introduction, but an excellent one nonetheless. It covers the years 450 to 1066, but with just a cursory glance at events before 600. It is fact-packed and readable, with good illustrations, including two very useful maps. You should certainly read Roman Britain: A Very Short Introduction before this, and ideally, The Celts: A very Short Introduction, before that. This particular book leaves the reader with a strong sense of how much the Anglo-Saxon age shaped England's landscape and culture. If you want a broad overview of British history, this may be all you need for this period. If you intend to delve deeper into the era, this is a great place to start.
Almost too short! Jul 11, 2005
This very short introduction may have been a little too short. But I did learn quite a bit - I'll just have to supplement it with other reading.