Concisely written and marvellously illustrated, Anglo-Saxon England is the best visual introduction I've found to daily life in England between the Saxon migration and the Norman invasion. With photography from re-enactments, reconstructions and artefacts, and specially commissioned illustrations, it fills out details which you can read about in The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology, of which Crawford is an editor, but which are nowhere else brought to life in quite this way.
This is a judiciously written book, which is archaeologically up to date, never talks down to the reader, but has been kept just to a length which makes it interesting and accessible.
The aptly named Shire Living Histories really do bring history to life and really should appeal to all age groups. Just flicking through these books gives a good feel for the high quality of production and the extensive use of illustrative material. This volume covers the period 400 - 790; a period which the book tells us has often been dismissed as the 'Dark Ages', but which is in fact rich in culture and development, and important in developing our understanding of subsequent history. The book is an easy read, yet packed with information, much of which relates to sites all around the country which can be visited today and which are listed at the end of the book. The book is a portrait of daily life, including family, local area, education, entertainment and transport and provides an excellent background for studies of the period.
This is a delightfully written and splendidly illustrated wee book about Anglo-Saxon England. The author, Sally Crawford, has a helpfully endearing writing style useful for eight plus children and adults who want to learn about the Anglo-Saxon way of life without becoming swamped by a plethora of erudition. It's very factual, to the point, and is mainly about every day folk with little or no mention of kings, wars and governance.
There's an introduction followed by chapters concerning home and neighbourhood, work, food and drink, shopping and style, transport, relaxation and entertainment, education and social service, health and a section on places to visit and there's a helpful index. On page 25 there's an endearing photograph of Escomb Anglo-Saxon church, County Durham. I've been there and it truly is the most inspiring wee church that demonstrates to a tee that the Anglo-Saxons didn't need the Normans to teach them how to build architectural gems.
This is the kind of book that goes a long way to inspiring people to love history. Learned historians are not always the best people to write history books and , if they do, they should get training and advice on how best to present the facts to both student and general reader. In this work Sally Crawford shows herself to be a first-rate historian capable of presenting the facts in an enjoyable fashion open to everyone. You'll never regret buying this book.
Whilst you tend to head about the rampaging hordes of conquerors throughout the history of the Britain, you rarely hear about how, once the land was captured, the settled down and began the humble life of farming and with little literary evidence to aid the modern researcher they have to rely on the evidence dug up by the archaeologists as well as from educated guesswork based on practical application.
What Sally has done in this title, is bring together the facts that have been established in an easy to comprehend as well as follow manner and clearly demonstrates that what are thought of as the Dark Ages is anything but with modern philosophies and familial connections to help look after their own. It is wonderfully presented, it has great illustrations as well as photographs to help back up the points of view and when added to a friendly vocal literary manner keeps the reader not only entertained but fascinated. Back that up with clear concise classification of subjects and it's a title that can easily be dipped into as well as read back to back that will be reread many times over.
Basic but informative. Well illustrated with photos of re-enactors and rebuilt buildings. I re-enact at West Stow Anglo Saxon village in Suffolk and this would be really useful for new re-enactors.Nice to find a history which gives info about women, spinning, weaving etc and not just men wielding swords (who were only a tiny minority)