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The Age of Athelstan: Britain's Forgotten History (Revealing History) [Paperback]

Paul Hill
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
Price: 14.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Mar 2004 Revealing History
This book the story of the hunt for Athelstan's greatest battlefield and sets the whole era in the context of politics, religion and Viking attacks of the age.

Frequently Bought Together

The Age of Athelstan: Britain's Forgotten History (Revealing History) + Athelstan: The First King of England Yale English Monarchs (Yale English Monarchs Series) + Aethelred II: King of the English
Price For All Three: 39.37

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; 1st Edition edition (1 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752425668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752425665
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Author

No other book brings this period so sharply into focus. King Athelstan, the first King of England rightly deserves his place in history.

About the Author

Paul Hill was formerly curator of Kingston Museum and has written a number of books and papers on archaeology and warfare, including last year's 'Landscapes of War - the Archaeology of Aggression and Defence'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
By Angeln
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This fine account of a neglected (aren't they all?) figure in English history is also the story of how England came into being. The tale is not uncomplicated. Fortunately the author keeps the reader's interest with a great deal of fascinating and - for me at least - new information.

But then the elite does a wonderful job keeping us 'British'. Simon Schama's 'acclaimed' television history moved from Iron Age to Norman Conquest in one neat opening episode. David Dimbleby's 'Buildings of Britain' went further, reducing the first millennium to a brief aside about Hereward before getting down to the real business of celebrating the usurper.

Did you know that Kingston-upon-Thames boasts a ceremonial coronation stone upon which are said to have been crowned several Anglo-Saxons monarchs - including the great Athelstan?

Did you know the people of Kingston continue to celebrate Athelstan's life, and take pride in their Anglo-Saxon heritage (God bless 'em)? Paul Hill knew. As a former curator of the Kingston Museum he would. As for you, if you've heard of the stone of scone, or remember day-long BBC coverage of the its being processed back to scotland, that should tell you a lot.

The last of England could be traced to a patch of the Somerset Levels called Athelney during the late years of the 9th century. It was from Athelney that a King of the West Saxons, Alfred (whom scholars grudgingly agree deserved the title 'Great'), led his fightback against the Danish invader.

And not just Alfred. His daughter, Aelfleade or Elflaede, known to history as 'Lady of the Mercians', turned out something of a chip off the old block too, giving up sex and domesticity in favour of fortifying Mercian defences and commanding armies in the field.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate title...a military history 8 Aug 2010
Doesn't quite do what it says on the tin.

Primarily a military history of the wars between the various factions struggling for dominance. And competent enough given the sketchy sources available. But I had hoped to begin to understand a lot more about 'The Age of Athelstan' than just this aspect, important though it undoubtedly is.

A better title would more accurately reflect the book's nature...but then I probably wouldn't have bought it. So 3 stars only.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little known king 21 Nov 2009
By Mr X
Athelstan was one of the first English kings, but nobody seems to have heard of him today in contrast to other kings of around his time such as Alfred The Great and Athelred the Unready. He achieved a big victory in 937 at an, as yet unconfirmed, location which secured the current kingdom of England for future generations.

Not much is actually know of him apart from what can be derived from the remaining fragmentary sources. Novertheless the book is quite infomrative and gives good background information on this period. Readers expecting a biography of Athelstan should note that this is note such a book; rather it gives an overview of events from roughly the time of Alfred the Great to the early 11th century, albeit that there is a focus on Athelstand's time (he died in AD939).
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