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In Search Of The Dark Ages Paperback – 2 Jun 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; New Reprinted Edition edition (2 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563522763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563522768
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"In Search of the Dark Ages, Michael Wood wrote the book for history on TV." (The Times)

"Michael Wood is the maker of some of the best TV documentaries ever made on history and archaeology." (Times Literary Supplement)

Book Description

A fascinating exploration of an often misunderstood period in British history

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 78 people found the following review helpful By markw on 9 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
For some reason the BBC has consistently and persistently managed to find as specialist presenters experts who are also thoughtful and talented communicators.
This is the accompanying book for his 1981 TV series of the same name, and consists of a series of essays (one for each episode of the series) on early British and English history.
Wood is an excellent essayist, and a genuine scholar in his field. In fact of the various books he has written, this one and the more reflective "in search of England" most seem to reflect his own studies and enthusiasms.
This is a fine introduction to the subjects in question. Bear in mind it's a set of essays and not a comprehensive history of the period, and that despite the title only covers Anglo-British history.
This edition was revised in 2001 to take into account more recent historical study.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Cooper on 2 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
In search of the Dark Ages is a cracking introduction to anybody studying or wishing to know more about this fascinating yet little understood period of British history. Woods use and interpretation of source material, both primary and second is very good especially his insight into the archaeological evidence both past and present. He steers clear of too much speculation and that which he does use is measured and well thought out. Im sure there are some pretty weighty tomes on several of the personalities included, such as Alfred the Great and King Athelstan for anybody wishing to dig out a more in depth history but for a simple introduction you can't go much wrong with this. It can be a little heavy going in places and probably isn't the ideal book to be reading at 7 o'clock, half asleep on the way to work but on the whole I highly recommend it to anybody wishing to explore Anglo-Saxon/Viking/Norman history in the British Isles.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Nicholls on 11 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
Despite having more pressing historical degree reading at hand at the moment, I found myself getting distracted by In Search of the Dark Ages by Michael Wood. The Dark Ages are a period that were never covered at school or even during my university degree (by my own choosing partly) and I feel that I missed out on rather a lot! I first encountered Michael Wood's work when reading his book Conquistadors, which, like this, I found to be very interesting, informative but also more readable than many other dusty old historians. I'm sure many historians would want and perhaps require greater depth than Wood provides, but to ask for that is to demand the unreasonable of what is essentially an introductory book to the period. Each of the chapters gave me an insight to Britain from the fall of Rome to society post-Norman invasion. I really never quite knew the extent to which Britain had been colonised, and it throws racial prejudices of the modern day into clear perspective! Surely the majority of current Brits are some combination of Celt, Dane, Norwegian, Roman and Norman - a mixture that really confuses one seeking to gain some knowledge of their actual heritage!

Overall I preferred Michael Wood's Conquistadors book, though that was largely due to having the hardback edition in full colour, with far more documentary supplements in image as well as actual photographs. However, this book is the equivalent for this period of history, though of course it encompasses a larger range of events due to the time scale of the book. One interesting feature for myself, a huge fan of Tolkien (well, the Hobbit and LOTR primarily), was to see that he was obviously inspired to a large extent by the names of people and places in this period.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. J. R. LEWIS TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
I can remember way back in 1981 when a younger Michael Wood introduced us to the Dark Ages and up to the time of King Edward and the legacy of Domesday.
These magnificent books have now been in print for well over twenty years and are amongst the most interesting and well researched books on the period.

Woods a classical Oxford scholar has always been a favorite of mine in his very entertaining yet precise and accurate explanation of a period where little material exists.

It has been many years since these magnificent series have been televised and it is a travesty that both Insearch of the Dark Ages and Domesday a search for England have never been released on either video let alone DVd.

The series were so informative and memorable especially Domesday that i would pay a considerable sum to posses them on disc.

I have even written a letter to the BBC asking on a possible release date but their replie was that they were unsure and would keep me informed.

The books are a timely reminder of how good Woods is at his research.

If you are familiar with his other works,Trojan War,Insearch of Shakespeare etc both which are on dvd,superb as they are but are nowhere near as informative about the period in history as his early series.

Im sure you are choosing Woods book due to your knowledge of his ability as a historian with six BBc series to his credit but if you didnot see In Search of The Dark Ages on television all those years ago you have been robbed of a rare treat.

This book is the equal of any on the shelf of your bookseller,written in a way that makes history more accesable to the masses but when or if those magnificent series become available on dvd then you will realise how good they are,so good that i can still remember them all those years ago.
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