- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; Reprint edition (17 Aug. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300187718
- ISBN-13: 978-0300187717
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 23.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Athelstan: The First King of England Yale English Monarchs (The Yale English Monarchs Series) Paperback – 17 Aug 2012
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"'Sarah Foot's wide-ranging, detailed and sympathetic account offers many thought-provoking insights into a crucial and formative period in British history. In its pages AEthelstan emerges from the shadows as one of the great English rulers. It will be essential reading for all future explorers in the field.' (Michael Wood, author of In Search of the Dark Ages) 'In the pages of this remarkable biography - a work suffused with a rare empathy - Aethelstan emerges as a character of flesh and blood.' (Hywel Williams, Times Literary Supplement) 'A compelling new biography... Foot manages to construct a remarkably clear vision of this king who deserves to be more widely known.' (David Musgrove, BBC History Magazine (Books of the Year) 'A triumph of historiography that celebrates a life rich in spiritual, intellectual and martial endeavour. Revisionary, thoughtful, beautifully written and exhaustively researched, this biography of Aethelstan is set to become a classic.' (Helen Fulton, Times Higher Education)"
About the Author
Sarah Foot is Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Christ Church, Oxford, and a foremost scholar of tenth-century history.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is nothing else like this book for its comprehensive coverage, coins, charters, continental sources, chronicles, letters etc.
Seems like a lifetime's work, this must be Sarah Foot's magnum opus - or can there be more to come about Anglo-Saxon Britain?
I look forward to that.
PS Wouldn't it be great if Michael Wood ever got round to publishing his work on Athelstan. I've just listened to 90 mins of his inspiring lecture at Newcastle University available at
PPS also worth listening to the author, Sarah Foot and others talking with Melvyn Bragg BBC Radio 4 iplayer
This book did the job admirably. It's quite densely printed, quite lengthy and needed persistence to get through in a reasonable time. Given the relative paucity of hard facts that have survived from the 10th century, maybe, just maybe, the book is padded out a little, but hey, what do I know?
A fascinating and scholarly work, and a super introduction to a little-known king who was hugely important in the birth of modern England.
As I am trying to write fiction about Athelstan's era I can only thank Sarah Foot for adding to my knowledge and perceptions of a great but largely forgotten king.
'thelstan was the eldest child of Edward the Elder's first marriage but appears to have been pushed down the pecking order by the progeny of that king's two subsequent marriages. Indeed, Sarah Foote asserts that 'thelstan spent his early years with his aunt, 'thlflaeda, and her husband who were in charge of those parts of Mercia controlled Edward the Elder. Luck removed 'thelstan's most serious rival by the death of his eldest half-brother, 'lfweard, within weeks of their father. 'thelstan managed to shrug off whatever coups (threatened or actual) were made against him over the next fifteen years. He was to be succeeded by a half-brother, Edmund, the eldest of the third marriage.
After an overview of the reign, Sarah Foote looks more closely at his family. Clearly actual sources are in short supply and much of her effort is concerned with examining the products of post-Conquest annalists (especially William of Malmesbury) in the light of evidence from sources, such as charters and archaeology, more in vogue with post-Victorian historians.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book covering a period in history I didn't get an opportunity to study in schoolPublished 5 months ago by Carol Compton
Informative book and enjoyable. Never heard about him at school. Shame. He was an interesting and good monarch.Published 15 months ago by boosdort
We needed more detail on this man. The book gave it to us in spades. A fascinating man, we thoughtPublished 20 months ago by Pat Hannon
Hearing a lot about this a a Society of St Boniface I have belonged to for 34 years Good to get such an impressive overview of that period. Worth every penny Thank you Sarah.Published 20 months ago by Nike
Problem seems to be there isn't much known about him, so the story comes across as a bit thin! The approach taken to overcome this problem is fine but it is a lesson in the period... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mike Blake
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