The making of England : a new history of the Anglo-Saxon world
Part of the Library of Medieval Studies series
During the tenth century England began to emerge as a distinct country with an identity that was both part of yet separate from 'Christendom'.
The reigns of Athelstan, Edgar and Ethelred witnessed the emergence of many key institutions: the formation of towns on modern street plans; an efficient administration; and a serviceable system of tax.
Mark Atherton here shows how the stories, legends, biographies and chronicles of Anglo-Saxon England reflected both this exciting time of innovation as well as the myriad lives, loves and hates of the people who wrote them.
He demonstrates, too, that this was a nation coming of age, ahead of its time in its use not of the Book-Latin used elsewhere in Europe, but of a narrative Old English prose devised for law and practical governance of the nation-state, for prayer and preaching, and above all for exploring a rich and daring new literature.
This prose was unique, but until now it has been neglected for the poetry.
Bringing a volatile age to vivid and muscular life, Atherton argues that it was the vernacular of Alfred the Great, as much as Viking war, that truly forged the nation.
2ABA Anglo-Saxon, BGH Biography: historical, political & military, CBX Language: history & general works, DSBB Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, HBJD1 British & Irish history, HBLC Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500, HBTB Social & cultural history, HBW Military history, HRCC2 Church history, JFCX History of ideas