A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons

  • by Geoffrey Hindley
  • Narrated by Eleanor David
  • 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Starting AD 400 (around the time of their invasion of England) and running through to the 1100s (the 'Aftermath'), historian Geoffrey Hindley shows the Anglo-Saxons as formative in the history not only of England but also of Europe. The society inspired by the warrior world of the Old English poem Beowulf saw England become the world's first nation state and Europe's first country to conduct affairs in its own language, and Bede and Boniface of Wessex establish the dating convention we still use today. Including all the latest research, this is a fascinating assessment of a vital historical period.
About the author: Geoffrey Hindley is an acclaimed Medievalist. His many books include The Shaping of Europe, Saladin: a Biography, The Book of Magna Carta, and A Brief History of the Crusades.

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What the Critics Say

"This is an excellent assessment of a vital historical epoch from one of our most respected medievalists" (Good Book Guide, July 1, 2006)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A very dry history of the Ethels

I know only a little about the history of Britain before the Norman conquest and now I understand why - very little is actually known. There are a few chronicles that have historical information and this is what this book tends to regurgitate.

Unfortunately this book as a result ends up being a listing of kings and their reigns with brief suggested activities they undertook while on the throne. Nothing is known for certain until after 900ish and then all the kings seemed be named Ethel this or Ethel that so it got very confusing.

I know about as much about Anglo Saxon Britain as I did before I listened to this book so I can only really recommend this book to someone who knows nothing about Anglo Saxon Britain and has a interest in learning something about it!
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- Neil Chisholm

A Fair Narrative Saved By Good Narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Possibly. If the friend had an earnest desire to learn more about Anglo-Saxon England, then yes, I would recommend it to them. I would not recommend it to someone as their first exposure to the subject matter.


What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Well, any good student of history knows who the Anglo-Saxon Age ends... and it's OK to blame it on the Normans.


Have you listened to any of Eleanor David’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The narration was excellent. While the narrative lagged at points, Eleanor David's narration made to possible to continue through these rather 'dry' points.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reactions to report.


Any additional comments?

All in all the book was fair to good. Geoffrey Hindley is an author with good credentials on the subject matter to be sure, which makes it disappointing that he belabored the telling of this history with chronologies and lineages to the point it becames almost painful to the listener. As a study of the period, the book is academically solid and well-researched. This last point is the reason for an overall rating of 4 stars.

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- Jolene

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-11-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios