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8 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
Sir Frank Stenton (1880-1967) was one of the greatest historians England has ever produced. He dominated Anglo-Saxon studies in his lifetime and has continued to exercise influence on succeeding generations of scholars. Stenton's learning was profound and he wrote in a measured, thoughtful manner, that reminds me of an eminent judge summing up a complex case. Inevitably...
Published 22 months ago by G. Dodds

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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A thorough and solid but rather dated textbook.
Acclaimed in its day, this is a reissue of a volume nearly sixty years old from the Oxford History of England series. Compared with the engaging style of popular television historians, it seems ponderous and dated. A work of exhaustive scholarship, it concentrates on political history and pays scant attention to the newer fields of economic, social and archeological...
Published on 30 Aug 2001 by Dr. Christopher I. Pelton


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 15 Sep 2012
By 
G. Dodds "Glen Lyndon Dodds" (Sunderland, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford History of England) (Paperback)
Sir Frank Stenton (1880-1967) was one of the greatest historians England has ever produced. He dominated Anglo-Saxon studies in his lifetime and has continued to exercise influence on succeeding generations of scholars. Stenton's learning was profound and he wrote in a measured, thoughtful manner, that reminds me of an eminent judge summing up a complex case. Inevitably some of the text is now dated, as is true for example of Stenton's explanation of the origin of a category of tenant known as sokemen.

Stenton wrote the book for an academic audience and some of the dismissive comments of other reviewers are unwarranted. This book certainly has, and will retain, an honoured place in my personal library, and I remember with affection visiting Stenton's grave in 1990 while en route from Sunderland to a Belinda Carlisle concert at Peterborough. I wished to pay my respects to a scholar whose work had provided me with many hours of enjoyable reading and had greatly enhanced my knowledge of a fascinating period in English history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a good place to start, 10 Dec 2012
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S. Timmis "stevetimmis" (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford History of England) (Paperback)
This book was last updated in the late 1960's and so it is not as up to date as can be. Having said that, it is simply the greatest single volume exposition of the Anglo-Saxon History of England ever written. It is the traditional exposition of the post-Roman migration of continental Germans to Britain. A description of the Various Kingdoms, and their conversion to Christianity. Then the long slow process of English Unification and the Wars with various later invaders, the Danelaw and the slow inexorable build-up to the tale of 1066.
This book is a superb coathanger - a place to get a brilliant outline of the period. Once you have Stenton under your belt you are better able to assess where best to go next to update your knowledge in whichever direction you wish to go. I still highly recommend this book.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A thorough and solid but rather dated textbook., 30 Aug 2001
By 
Dr. Christopher I. Pelton (Shropshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford History of England) (Paperback)
Acclaimed in its day, this is a reissue of a volume nearly sixty years old from the Oxford History of England series. Compared with the engaging style of popular television historians, it seems ponderous and dated. A work of exhaustive scholarship, it concentrates on political history and pays scant attention to the newer fields of economic, social and archeological research. Nevertheless Mr Stenton gets off to a good start with the Saxon invasions, but during the subsequent chaos his narrative drifts into a catalogue of obscure kings with even obscurer names. (An Anglo-Saxon pronunciation guide would have been helpful and a glossary of unfamiliar terms.)In their profusion these minor characters begin to resemble the heathen gods as " figures which have names but no attributes." We are informed that they are of the Heroic Age but we are not entertained with many anecdotes to shed light on their manners or personalities. Such is the wealth of detail that it is possible to trace one's own local history where one's partiality lends more interest. The author's approach improves when he comes to literature and betrays an evident enthusiasm that inspired me to re-read Beowulf in Seamus Heaney's excellent translation. Likewise the treatment of the progress of Christianity is rich in insight and sympathy. As the 11th Century dawns the pace quickens and,perhaps because of the course of events described, I found the material more accessible.The suspense builds towards the Norman Conquest which makes a satisfying finale to this long text. I do not wish to be overly critical. This is a substantial work of reference and is good value for money at the price and well printed.It may be better suited to the serious student than the general reader such as myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty slow going, 23 Dec 2013
This review is from: Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford History of England) (Paperback)
The book is just too academic and wordy for the average reader...There is just too much detail in the opening chapters on minor kings whose names all seem to start with the letter E - and not enough context setting really.
Then about one third of the way in, he really lost me on his over-long rambling discourse about the church - which again seemed to have little context.
There is no context setting, nothing about the life of ordinary people in the Anglo Saxon world, nothing about how the original British integrated (or not) in with the new settlers and nothing about language evolution.
I read forward to the bit about the Norman invasion and what pre-ceded it - which was good, and near the end of the book, but I had otherwise given up at about a third of the way through.
Maybe the stuff I was looking for came later in the book, but by then I had long since given up on this book.
I feel the writer was probably a great academic, but not all academics can write well and make stuff interesting to the average educated punter.
It's a shame because the writer clearly knows his stuff, but maybe does not know when less is more and more is less!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Passport to another time, 3 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford History of England) (Paperback)
For anyone seriously interested in this period of English history, this book is a good solid overview with a wide range of sources and broad picture of the era and key events and personalities. Everyone studying this topic for the first time at high school or as an undergraduate will find it immensely useful starting point for a portrait of the era - its values, the key players and the factors motivating their actions. Not exactly light-hearted, but certainly not a dry-as-dust tome either.
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17 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly , but lacking narrative style and colour, 28 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Stenton's work is masterful and scholarly, but lacks narrative style and colour. Stenton's bibliography pays tribute to HODGKIN -"History of the Anglo-Saxons", which, though dated is fun to read, composed in a more popular style and is a wonderful introduction to the early AS period for the general reader.
Stenton is lacking entirely in illustrations - in great contrast to Hodgkin - which is strange seeing both are products of the OUP though separated by 50 years ! By contrast, the campaign maps in HODGSON are colourful extending pages - and must be seen to be believed.
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13 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable research tool, 18 April 2000
By A Customer
Don't even think of studying Anglo-Saxon history at any level without consulting this book first. It is, quite simply, thoroughly researched, masterfully put together, easy to read and amazingly helpful. Frank Stenton was more than a historian - he must have been some kind of god!
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly outdated, 11 Jan 2012
This review is from: Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford History of England) (Paperback)
Save your money and buy a book written more recently. This book was first published before the discovery of Sutton Hoo, which had a profound impact on the way Historians think about the Anglo-Saxon age.
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Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford History of England)
Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford History of England) by Sir Frank M. Stenton (Paperback - 7 Jun 2001)
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