A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons

  • by Geoffrey Hindley
  • Narrated by Eleanor David
  • 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Starting AD 400 (around the time of their invasion of England) and running through to the 1100s (the 'Aftermath'), historian Geoffrey Hindley shows the Anglo-Saxons as formative in the history not only of England but also of Europe. The society inspired by the warrior world of the Old English poem Beowulf saw England become the world's first nation state and Europe's first country to conduct affairs in its own language, and Bede and Boniface of Wessex establish the dating convention we still use today. Including all the latest research, this is a fascinating assessment of a vital historical period.
About the author: Geoffrey Hindley is an acclaimed Medievalist. His many books include The Shaping of Europe, Saladin: a Biography, The Book of Magna Carta, and A Brief History of the Crusades.


What the Critics Say

"This is an excellent assessment of a vital historical epoch from one of our most respected medievalists" (Good Book Guide, July 1, 2006)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hard work. But...not bad.

Ok. From the start, you have to persevere with this one. At first it seems impenetrable - at least the first half of the book is a bombardment of facts, dates, names and hypotheses, and the head swims just taking it all on board. Add to that that within the general chronology of the book there's a fair amount of date-jumping, you could almost give up. After a while, however, I realised that it's not the author's inability to connect with his audience as I had first perceived it. Alright, it would make for easier digestion if he had more of a Tom Holland talent for telling the story of history instead of throwing the facts at you, but I have to say - and sorry Eleanor David - her narration of the book is, although clear....er....well, uncharismatic. Almost too proper. It's the only audio book I've ever spent so much time jumping back a minute or two to re-listen to parts because I zoned out. But, that aside, when the Vikings appear on the scene, Hindley starts to get more into the flow of telling the story of history and it all gets a lot better. Shame it took so long.

All in all, this is an often confusing but useful book for those interested in the subject. If you're new to the Anglo Saxons, I'd recommend starting with Michael Drout's excellent and fun lecture and then use this one to fill in any gaps.
Read full review

- Laurie

What it means to be English

What did you like most about A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons?

This is a period of history about which I know little. This book certainly changed that! Very well written based on meticulous research.

What did you like best about this story?

It shows that Britain has always been subject to people of different cultures coming to settle in these islands. We have for centuries been a multi-cultural society. Despite the sweeping changes the Norman invasion brought to Saxon England - still traditional 'Saxon' practices were not completely wiped out. For example, farm tenancies in Kent were based on Saxon law until the 1920s! This book has a lot of lessons for the UK today.

What does Eleanor David bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Ms David has a very nice voice to listen to. This cannot have been an easy book to read out loud and she did an excellent job - although she mispronounces some Dutch words!

Any additional comments?

I liked this book so much I'm going to buy the hard copy.

Read full review

- Joy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-02-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios