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on 24 July 2017
Excellent value and speedy delivery
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on 6 December 2001
Although many would probably doubt my sanity in implying that this book is one of the greatest ever produced by mankind along with other great and more well-known works,I will attempt to justify my point...
Primarily, I first encountered this last year, whilst doing a course on Anglo-Saxon history, and we studied the Historia Ecclesiastica in great detail, which not only attempted to outline the historical content of the Early Dark Age in England and other parts of the continent, as well as trying to lay a Christian foundation of permanence in England at the time (731, when the Church here was undergoing a moral crisis), but is also written in an extremely professinal manner by Bede, even compared to modern standards. For example, Bede not only gives us an introduction, but also names his sources, and was one of the first historians to start dating events from the birth of Christ. (By all accounts his Latin was excellent too, although this is obviously done in an English translation). He doesn't start from the Anglo-Saxon invasion either, but goes right back to the arrival of the other groups on the island, such as the Celts and the Romans, as well as stating some geographic facts about Britain too.
From here, he guides the reader with clarity through the exciting, and often bloody, history of 'the English' right up until his own day.
So impressed was I with this book that I returned to do another course on the Early Mediaeval period, and bought another copy of this spectacular work to read for pleasure, and no doubt I'll return to it again and again.
Undoubtedly the only real source of historical documentation in this period in Northern Europe at this time, as well as trying to persuade the reader to learn from history's mistakes and lessons to become a better Christian, Bede sums up the book with a micro-autobiography of himself.
Not only was this a great historical 'fountain of knowledge', but it is also full of juicy 'goings-on' in this era, with battles, blood, conversions, paganism, etc, but as a contribution to world literature, its greatness is underlined by the fact that it has never been unavailable/out of print since it first appeared in 731, which is an achievement in itself.
To end with, I would personally endorse the Oxford World Classic version (Colgrave), as not only do you get more for your money, i.e. 'The Letter to Egbert', etc, this translation is the most authoratative versions available, with clear notes at the back for the more studious reader. Definitely five stars...only because I can't put more!
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on 7 May 2009
It has been said that the Saxons were the most advanced and sophisticated of all the Germanic races. This book certainly lends credence to this claim.
Written in the midst of the 'Dark ages' by a monk of Jarrow monastery, Northumberland, this book is more than a historical text, it is the story of a people, and their embryonic nation.
Through his chronicle Bede gives us a glimpse of a people with a developing national identity, making the land they had conquered their own.

Although there are some doubts of the validity of some events that Bede records, which sometimes confuse legends with history, it's very existence bears testament to a complex, literate and multi-faceted society, far removed from the savage, backwards barbarians they were once considered to be.

From the invasion of Julius Ceasar to his own time Bede tells the story of Britain in his own words.
Focusing upon the coming of the Saxons, and their conversion to the Catholic religion under Augustine, Bede's voice permeates this text. Sometimes praising the warrior Kings of Legend and history, passionately recording the conversion of his countrymen, or pouring scorn upon the 'Britons', it is an authentically human account.
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on 5 May 2014
I haven't had time to read it yet but am looking forward to taking it on holiday with me. Thankyou
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on 27 June 2000
I have just finished a University module based on this book, and was lucky to study it in some depth. It is a great book to study but also a great book just to read. It may be over a thousand years old, but Bede's style is infinitely accessible and there is much to enjoy in the stories that he weaves. Particularly memorable are the Anglo-Saxon kings and their fierceness, particularly Penda whom Bede obviously disliked a great deal, and the brilliant story of the conversion of King Edwin from paganism to Christianity. Do not be put off by the fact that it is an "ecclesiastical" history: it is not at all a dry, religious book. It is a highly interesting chronicle of a time which otherwise may have been lost to us.
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on 23 April 2013
This translation of Bede into modern English is clear, accessible and easy to read and well presented - I'd recommend it!
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on 8 May 2014
Bede provides many accounts within his writings that can't be found elsewhere, as such, it is a great source to have for inspiring historians such as myself. I recently studied Bede in depth and found that you need to read between the lines quite a bit, this book provides a great account of topics such as the conversion of Christianity in Northumbria, and the Anglo Saxon Kingdoms, while Bede's book is a difficult read, it is extremely educating and I recommend it to anyone just looking to educate themselves a bit more in the medieval times covered in this book. Overall, I would have still read this book even if it was not a requirement, and will continue to read it even now that my module is over. Opinions may be segregated in regards to Bede himself, but it is undeniable that he provides a magnitude of information that will occupy any reader!
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on 24 January 2015
good read and good value
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on 2 December 1999
This is a delightful piece of history not only because of the information it portrays, but also because of the style in which it is written. I also had the opportunity to read the first edition of the work and would love to hear where I could get hold of it. This edition, however, is quite delightful enough!
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VINE VOICEon 26 October 2013
It is wonderful to me, to dip into this excellent edition of this book, to hear the voice of Bede, recounting what was recent Church history to him. It brings a precious part of UK history to life. The book itself is beautifully produced - it will become a treasure on my shelves, and very well read.
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