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Much needed research on the Anglo-Saxon contribution to England
on 3 May 2008
Hindley's book brings to the reader's attention the much-undervalued contribution the Anglo-Saxons invaders/settlers made to England. The period of Anglo-Saxon dominance is usually dismissed as something of a non-event in terms of the development of the nation, sandwiched between the great Roman & Norman invasions that are thought to have brought civilisation to the English and rescued them from the `dark ages.' However, by the time William the Conquerer came to the throne Hindley shows us that he had actually inherited rather than created the most efficient administrative structure in the whole of Europe.
Hindley tells us of the progress the Anglo-Saxons made in bringing about a concept of `Englishness' amongst all the initially separate kingdoms of England with the concept of 'Bretwalda,' a king who had supreme recognised authority over all the kingdoms of England. The setting up of a king's Navy by Alfred the Great and his preservation of the kingdom of Wessex which saved the Anglo-Saxon civilisation from oblivion at the hands of the Vikings. The contribution of the Anglo-Saxons to language, law, literature and bringing Christianity to Europe in the form of missionaries is impressive; this book highlights a wide range of achievements and as the previous reviewer states the book is anything but brief.