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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
92
In Search Of The Dark Ages
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 1 April 2017
I often thought about this period of time and how little I knew about it.
Thanks to this excellent book I may have some answers when my three children ask about the "time before the castles" appeared.
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on 12 October 2014
This is a very readable and entertaining overview of "Dark Age" Britain (concentrating almost exclusively on what is now England) through the stories of the main protagonists of the period. Starting with Boudica and ending with William the Conqueror, neither of whom are strictly Dark Age people, the book charts the development of England through the fall of the Roman Empire, the Anglo-Saxon invasion, the Viking era and eventual unification under the house of Wessex, culminating in the Norman Conquest in the years after the Battle of Hastings.

In telling the story of the major characters, we also get the bigger picture filled in and so many more characters are brought to life in the narrative. I would have liked a bit more detail on figures like King Edgar and the Northern Kings such as Oswald, but this is a good starting point.

Understandably, the story becomes more detailed as the centuries go on and the sources become more numerous, but I enjoyed the speculation and discussion of the sources around the earlier Kings such as the elusive Arthur and King Offa and the identity of the person buried (or perhaps merely honoured) at Sutton Hoo.

The book is very easy to read in a few sessions and mainly feels up to date, although there are a few references to 'the third word' which show that it was originally written a few decades ago, as does 'outdated' spelling such as Boadicea (which is explained) and Canute (which isn't). I would certainly recommend it to anybody who wants to start to learn the history of pre-Conquest England or wants to try to understand a bit more about the Anglo-Saxon or Viking periods, and it's made me keen to get out and walk along Offa's Dyke again as well as visit Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard amongst other historic attractions.
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on 27 April 2017
Another excellent book by Michael Wood. Highly recommended.
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on 25 September 2017
As a historical newcomer with a fantastical preconception of the Dark Ages, this book made for an insightful and colourful introduction. It left me educated and yearning for more.

I recommend to all those who are looking for an overview of key persons and events in the enlightening period.
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A part of British history we should all know about not just the tudours all the time
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on 10 September 2016
A long time favourite of mine, I bought this as a replacement for my original, ironically lost during a period of war and turmoil.

Highly recommended for anyone curious about this most elusive of times...just don't call it the Dark Ages!
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on 10 February 2016
Having watched The Last Kingdom, I wanted to find out more about this period of history. In Search of the Dark Ages is a well researched, informative overview of the period 793 to the consolidation of the Norman Conquest. The narrative gives a flowing account with sufficient, but not too much detail to keep the story interesting. A thoroughly enjoyable read, it entertains and educates. What more could one ask.
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on 4 August 2015
An examination of an area of little understood or recorded history - which is why it is called the Dark Ages. This was a time of major changes in the fate of Britain and Michael Wood draws together many threads of the story and explains how they relate to each other from the Iron Age inhabitants of Britain through the Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings and Normans.
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on 29 July 2017
lovely book good condition very pleased
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on 18 October 2015
Despite small and easy reading, this book was a fantastic read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Really helped me to gain an introduction into the period and the problems they face, all while being an easy read (I was 16-17 when I read it, now I'm a second year history student studying the Anglo Saxon period). Overall I would thoroughly recommend this book!
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