2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Interesting perspectives on the times of Oswald,
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This review is from: The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria (Hardcover)
This book is a very fair and informative read.
The author is very dedicated to the study of the period and takes into account the surrounding influences and effects.
I particularly enjoyed the information and positive opinions of the author regarding Dal Rita, Goddodin and Reghed.
He is brave enough to raise questions regarding brief mentions by Bede and others about how Oswalds incorruptable arm
was found and his skull identified a year or so after the battle.
The book does well to cover all the surrounding personalities before, during and after the time of Oswald. The Houses of Bernicia and Deira, relationships of Edwin with the Welsh, Mercians and East Anglians. His falling into the influence of the Roman Church and how he was toppled by an alliance including a kingdom with a Christian heritage and connection to the Votadini of Goddodin, with emnity to the Angles of Bernicia.
The author compare's the story of Oswald with Tolkein's Return of the King, however Oswald was not exactly successful in his final battle. Penda did make a bit of a mess of him. As to why, is an interesting thought.
The detail is good, the age gap between Oswald and Oswiu seems particularly significant to the final outcome.