Customer Review

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much needed book about the Kings of the North, 22 Sep 2013
This review is from: The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria (Hardcover)
This is The Book lovers of All Things Saxon have been looking for since ... ever. Well written, modern, intelligent and endowed with the capacity of seeing the whole picture. A book where queens are as much important as kings - in a way.

I have not finished it but each and every page have been a treasure trove. I must admit I do not admit the need for Edwin's bride to have been an exile in Frankia. Why would Eadbald send his only sister and as far as we know potential heir to a kingdom whose king had had as a mother one of the nastiest characters of the Dark Ages. Bertha, Aethelburgh's mother was raised in Tours as far as possible from her uncle and aunt' court. Close as can be from her other uncle Gunthramm. Interestingly, it is her other aunt Brunhildis who supported Bertha's desire to see her husband the King of Kent to convert. We do not get the impression Fredegunda and her son the young Chlothar had much to do with their Kent relatives.

Finally sending Aethelburgh in Frankia was more to emperile the princess as we all know that Merovingian family feuds make up from the Heptarchy in-fightings.

This discussion on the minor detail which is France foreign policy in the early 7thC shows how global Max Adams vision is of the King of the North.I would say he could have use the title: the Kings of the North!
A book all sorts of brilliant which deserves justly applause.

As weeks pass, I slowly go through the chapters and enjoy each and every of them. (review written over a few weeks as reading progressed). Indeed Kings of the North. Max Adams has delivered not only an epic but a reflection on kingship and how it evolved from what one could term hoodlums and warband terrorizing the neighbourhood to concerted vision of what one rightly could term statemanship. Oswald was the stellar popular guy but his brother Oswiu the one who was possibly less handsome, less bright, less sunshine boy was the one who changed history. Thank you on Oswiu's behalf. I have always felt that this king who inherited the crown following the tragic event of Maserfelth, who survived twice the onslaught of Penda , who was smart enough to keep his head/crown, imperium despite Wulfhere getting back the crown of Mercia for Penda bloodline and who sorted out the Irish/British versus Roman Christianity conflict without any bloodletting (dreading to imagine a religious civil war in the mid 7th century) - yes Oswiu has been overlooked when he has been so essential. Poor Oswiu surrounded by Saints (Edwin and Aethelburgh, uncle and aunts, Oswald, his brother, Osthryth his daughter and Etheldreda his daughter in Law plus Hilda of Whitby his cousin). Wilfrid and Bede made sure he was seen as the dodgy guy. The dodgy guy who should not have become king saved Northumbria, you two pompous religion persons. Without him, you would have been forgotten!
Buy this book, read it , cherish it. It is on par with Nigel Higham books.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Nov 2013 22:26:49 GMT
Gt Pattison says:
This is The Book lovers of All Things Saxon have been looking for .
He wasn't Saxon, he was Angle. Northumbria was an Angle kingdom, the Saxons were in the south.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2013 10:14:15 GMT
SAINTIXE says:
I kmow. All Things Saxon as an avatar rings better than All Things Jutes or Angles...
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