9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Far from perfect, but you won't find better.,
This review is from: The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England (Paperback)
This compact encylopaedia - weighty enough to feel comforting but small enough to carry to the library with little worry - is possibly one of the best purchases I made in aid of my course on Anglo-Saxon History. It has its faults, of course - some bemusing omissions, and I would have preferred more biographical entries, and it has to be borne in mind that whilst this is a reference book, some of the entries, particularly on broader themes, in the end reflect the views of the historians who wrote them, rather than providing an entirely neutral look at the subject (some might, for example, take issue with the statement that the Vikings were "probably uncouth, certainly unpleasant, and decidedly unwelcome", which reflects popular attitudes but perhaps doesn't take into account all important historical debate on the topic. That said, the appendices - with maps and lists of rulers of various areas of Anglo-Saxon Egland - are a god-send to any stressed student attempting to get the general pattern of the period straight in their mind.
Would definitely recommend - no book will provide you with such a range of carefully selected and researched facts at your fingertips, or give such immense clarification amidst the study of an often confusing period. This gives the bolts and the nitty-gritty; for the broad overview of the period I would firmly recommend the "Very Short Introduction to the Anglo-Saxon Age" by John Blair, which is excellent and, as a bonus, much more compact than the Blackwell Encylopaedia.