Royal Mysteries: The Anglo-Saxons and Early Britain (Hardback)
Royal mysteries never fail to intrigue readers and TV viewers. The 'mysteries', unravelled and analysed, are of enduring fascination and full of tragedy, suffering and pathos but also heroism and romance.
The text is based on deep research in original sources including rare documents, archaeological and DNA evidence, latest historiography and academic research but is essentially accessible history.
These are the 'Dark Ages' but Anglo-Saxon enlightenment is emphasised. The Heptarchy, with seven Anglo-Saxon states is examined and Alfred's victory over the Vikings and emergence of the English kingdom. But mystery surrounds all aspects of dynastic, political and military history. The story includes the surviving British and Welsh kingdoms when 'Welsh' meant 'foreigner, the Gaelic kingdoms in what became Scotland, the survival of lowland 'Britons' under the Germanic Anglo-Saxon radar - a new interpretation of early English society in its shadowy forms with the half-mythical founders of the early English kingdoms like Hengist of Kent or Cerdic of Wessex, up to William duke of Normandy - did he have any legitimate claim to justify his 'power-grab'? Some episodes have dropped out of history like the murder the teen-age King Edward the 'Martyr', but here is a re-telling of early mysteries based on close analysis of the myriad sources while stimulating romantic fascination.