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


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.

Editorial Review

“The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England: 400 – 1066” by Marc Morris is a masterful work that brings to life the tumultuous era of early medieval England. With meticulous research and a captivating narrative style, Morris paints a vivid portrait of the Anglo-Saxon civilization, exploring its origins, struggles, and triumphs.

Through Morris’s engaging storytelling, readers are transported to a time of warlords, battles, and cultural transformation. He skillfully navigates through complex political landscapes, highlighting key figures and events that shaped the destiny of England. From the arrival of Germanic tribes to the profound influence of Viking invasions, every page is filled with rich historical detail and insightful analysis.

What sets this book apart is Morris’s ability to balance scholarly rigor with accessibility. While the depth of research is evident, he presents the information in a way that captivates both history enthusiasts and newcomers to the subject. The author’s passion for the topic shines through, making the narrative engaging and compelling.

“The Anglo-Saxons” is not merely a historical account but a journey that immerses readers in the sights, sounds, and struggles of early medieval England. Morris’s ability to breathe life into the past is truly remarkable, making the book an immersive and enlightening experience.

Whether you are a scholar, a student, or a casual reader with an interest in history, “The Anglo-Saxons” is an essential addition to your bookshelf. It offers a comprehensive and engaging exploration of a crucial period in England’s history, providing valuable insights into the origins of a nation. Marc Morris has once again proven his prowess as a historian and storyteller, solidifying his place among the finest authors in the field.

The Anglo-Saxons A History of the Beginnings of England by Marc Morris
Genre: Non-Fiction
Age Range: Adult
Start Rating: 4.5 stars
Publication Date: 14th June 2022
ISBN13: 978-1639362110

Author: Marc Morris

Marc Morris

Marc Morris (Author)

Marc Morris is a distinguished British historian and author renowned for his expertise in medieval history. Born with a passion for the past, Morris pursued his academic journey at the University of London, where he earned a degree in History and Archaeology. He later obtained a PhD from the University of Leeds, specializing in the reign of Edward I.

With a deep fascination for the Middle Ages, Morris has dedicated his career to illuminating the complexities and nuances of this captivating era. His extensive research and meticulous attention to detail have earned him acclaim as a leading authority on medieval England.

Morris is widely recognized for his ability to bring history to life through engaging narratives and accessible storytelling. His books, including “A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain” and “The Norman Conquest: The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England,” have garnered critical acclaim and a loyal readership.

Beyond his written works, Morris is also known for his contributions to television documentaries, where he has shared his knowledge and passion with a broader audience. His expertise and engaging on-screen presence have made history come alive for viewers around the world.

With a writing style that seamlessly blends scholarly rigor with an engaging narrative, Marc Morris continues to captivate readers with his ability to make the past relevant and accessible. His dedication to historical accuracy and his talent for storytelling have solidified his place as one of the most respected voices in medieval history.

Through his works, Morris invites readers to delve into the intricacies of the medieval world, shedding light on the individuals, events, and societal transformations that have shaped our modern understanding. His commitment to uncovering the past and sharing its significance with others has cemented his legacy as a preeminent historian and an invaluable contributor to the field of medieval studies.


  • Wikipedia Contributors. (2023, May 13). Marc Morris (historian). Wikipedia; Wikimedia Foundation.

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