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The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Bede , Judith McClure , Roger Collins , Bertram Colgrave
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Sep 2008 Oxford World's Classics
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731 AD) is Bede's most famous work.
As well as providing the authoritative Colgrave translation of the Ecclesiastical History, this edition includes a new translation of the Greater Chronicle, in which Bede examines the Roman Empire and contemporary Europe. His Letter to Egbert gives his final reflections on the English Church just before his death, and all three texts here are further illuminated by a detailed introduction and explanatory notes.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford World's Classics) + The Age of Bede (Penguin Classics) + The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology (Oxford World's Classics)
Price For All Three: £19.07

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; 2008 OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS EDITION edition (11 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199537232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199537235
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.1 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"[A] very useful, practical edition."--Glenn Olsen, University of Utah"One of the first great works of English literature....This new edition is based on the standard scholarly text, comes replete with notes by its editors...and includes two shorter works, "The Greater Chronicle" and the "Letter to Egbert."...This book offers anecdote, philosophical observation, and even charm."--The Washington Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Judith McClure was head of Royal School, Bath, and before that taught Latin and Medieval History at Liverpool and Oxford universities. Her husband, Roger Collins, taught Medieval history at Liverpool.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
139 of 140 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Although many would probably doubt my sanity in implying that this book is one of the greatest ever produced by mankind along with other great and more well-known works,I will attempt to justify my point...
Primarily, I first encountered this last year, whilst doing a course on Anglo-Saxon history, and we studied the Historia Ecclesiastica in great detail, which not only attempted to outline the historical content of the Early Dark Age in England and other parts of the continent, as well as trying to lay a Christian foundation of permanence in England at the time (731, when the Church here was undergoing a moral crisis), but is also written in an extremely professinal manner by Bede, even compared to modern standards. For example, Bede not only gives us an introduction, but also names his sources, and was one of the first historians to start dating events from the birth of Christ. (By all accounts his Latin was excellent too, although this is obviously done in an English translation). He doesn't start from the Anglo-Saxon invasion either, but goes right back to the arrival of the other groups on the island, such as the Celts and the Romans, as well as stating some geographic facts about Britain too.
From here, he guides the reader with clarity through the exciting, and often bloody, history of 'the English' right up until his own day.
So impressed was I with this book that I returned to do another course on the Early Mediaeval period, and bought another copy of this spectacular work to read for pleasure, and no doubt I'll return to it again and again.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The father of English history 16 April 2007
It's hard to overestimate the importance of the Venerable Bede and his Historia Ecclesiastica. He was the first to catalogue and write down the early English history, and in doing it well he set a real standard to live up to for future historians.

Although written in 731, Bede's history (at least in this version) is an easy read, moving from Roman times to Bede's own day, taking in the squabbles of the several English kingdoms, the missions of Augustine in the south and the Celtic saints in the north. It's a fascinating period of history, not least because history courses often seem to start with 1066 and take it from there.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable book 28 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We are so lucky to have this book. Lucky that a man of Bede's remarkable ability should undertake such a detailed history in an era when the gathering of information was a phenomenally painstaking task, lucky that Bede writes in such a readable style, and lucky that a book written 1300 years ago should have survived through the ages. Without Bede we would be hugely the poorer in our knowledge and understanding of the British Isles during the major part of the first millennium. This is not a conventional history; it is very much a history of the growth of Christianity and the Church in England (and the rest of the British Isles) during the period, written from a priest's perspective. However, in the setting out of Bede's account of the English church we also get a fair slice of more general history of the times, as well as a feel for its culture. I am generalising here a bit, but early books have a tendency to feel like they have been written by a committee (which or course may be true!) and with no sense of the author's own views. That is absolutely not the case with this book. Bede's personality and views shine through on virtually every page - he is writing the ecclesiastical history from his viewpoint and his personal interests (such as the dating of Easter - disputed for many years) shine through. This makes the book all the more interesting to read. As mentioned above, Bede's is not a difficult style of writing to read and appreciate, but it is not a book to be torn through like a novel (in the way that, for example, Churchill's History Of The English Speaking People's can). Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The birth of England 7 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It has been said that the Saxons were the most advanced and sophisticated of all the Germanic races. This book certainly lends credence to this claim.
Written in the midst of the 'Dark ages' by a monk of Jarrow monastery, Northumberland, this book is more than a historical text, it is the story of a people, and their embryonic nation.
Through his chronicle Bede gives us a glimpse of a people with a developing national identity, making the land they had conquered their own.

Although there are some doubts of the validity of some events that Bede records, which sometimes confuse legends with history, it's very existence bears testament to a complex, literate and multi-faceted society, far removed from the savage, backwards barbarians they were once considered to be.

From the invasion of Julius Ceasar to his own time Bede tells the story of Britain in his own words.
Focusing upon the coming of the Saxons, and their conversion to the Catholic religion under Augustine, Bede's voice permeates this text. Sometimes praising the warrior Kings of Legend and history, passionately recording the conversion of his countrymen, or pouring scorn upon the 'Britons', it is an authentically human account.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars but you realise just how terminally boring Bede is if you haven't got...
I read this in the original delightful medieval Latin as part of my university degree in history. I needed to check some facts recently and decided to buy this English translation. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Mr. J. Allsop
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love it.
Published 1 month ago by lizziebird
5.0 out of 5 stars Bede, a Medieval source must for inspiring Historians
Bede provides many accounts within his writings that can't be found elsewhere, as such, it is a great source to have for inspiring historians such as myself. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stephanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Could there be any other rating!
This is one of the greatest books in the history of English writing and still studied in universities today. Read more
Published 6 months ago by crazygrandma
5.0 out of 5 stars Bede: Ecclessiastical History
It was a great read, very informative and a refreshing contrast to the rubbish history now taught in schools.
If you haven't read it please do. Read more
Published 8 months ago by E. T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
Fascinating and interesting accounts of the 'Venerable Bede's' life, his writings and is encouragement to Bishops and Abbots of the time and early establishment of the Christian... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. Stephen G. Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful account of the history of the ancient UK Church
It is wonderful to me, to dip into this excellent edition of this book, to hear the voice of Bede, recounting what was recent Church history to him. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Elizabeth S. Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars Bede
I have recently been to see the Lindisfarne Gospels and this book is an excellent one to read for background information and adds to my enjoyment of the exhibition.
Published 11 months ago by Mary
4.0 out of 5 stars Bede's Book
A British classic in a cheap and acceptable form - what's not to like? Plenty of explanatory notes by experts on the period.
Published 19 months ago by maryatlincoln
5.0 out of 5 stars Bede
The book arrived in good time and was exactly as described. The edition is a particularly good one with the introduction covering the background well.
Published on 6 July 2012 by Caroline
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