2 HARD BACK BOOKS

THE SAXON KINGS
&
THE FALL OF SAXON ENGLAND

Both by Richard Humble

THE SAXON KINGS (223 Pages - Measuring 7 1 /2" x 10" (18.5 cm x 25.5 cm):-

When the Roman Empire of the West relinquished control over the embattled province of Roman Britain in the early fifth century, the island's population fell prey to savage marauders from across the North Sea - the Angles and Saxons. So began six epic centuries of uninterrupted conflict, as the Anglo-Saxons fought first for mastery of Britain, then for supremacy amongst themselves, and finally for survival against the murderous Vikings.

By 875 Wessex alone survived, led to victory against the Danes by Alfred: dogged soldier and self-taught scholar, king of Wessex and, by the end of his reign, of virtually all England. Alfred was the vital bridge between the old England and the new - out of the turmoil of the Danish wars a new national identity emerged.

Richard Humble gives a clear, exciting account of these obscure times, and traces England's continued recovery under Alfred's heirs - the first true kings of England, who raised the island people to a status previously unknown among the greatest powers of Christian Europe. Within 110 years of Alfred's death, however, the picture had changed completely: the disastrous reign of Ethelred ended with the English humiliated, ruined and subject to Danish rule. But stubborn Saxon loyalty outlived the interlude of the Anglo-Danish kings. It sustained both Edward the Confessor and Harold Godwinesson, and survived even the carnage of Hastings before its final extinction under the brutal regime of William of Normandy.

16 PAGES OF COLOUR PLATES

100 ILLUSTRATIONS IN BLACK-AND-WHITE

First produced in 1980 by George Weidenfeld and Nicolson Ltd.,
91 Clapham High Street, London SW4

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THE FALL OF SAXON ENGLAND (242 Pages - Measuring 5 3/4" x 8 3/4" (15 cm x 22.5 cm):-

This fast-moving account of the birth of England and its conquest by William of Normandy spans an epic six centuries of almost uninterrupted conflict: the fight of the Saxon English, first for mastery and then for survival.

Richard Humble opens his story with the abandoned Christian province of Roman Britain biginning its last battle against the forces of barbarism. We see King Arthur, stripped of myth and legend, stemming the tide of Saxon conquest for a whole generation before the inevitable collapse of the last Romano-British defences. We see the emergence of the first Saxon English kingdoms - Kent, East Anglia, Northumbria, Wessex, Mercia - and their rise to such power and wealth that Offa of Mercia was able to treat on equal terms with Charlemagne himself. And we see their piecemeal destruction by the Viking raiders until only Wessex was left to become the foundation of a new England.

Tracing the stubborn recovery of the English down to the disastrous reign of Ethelred 'The Unready', Richard Humble shows that the final victory of the Danes in 1016 was only a temporary phenomenon. He shows how the enduring loyalty of the English for their ancient ruling line clashed with the ambitions of the great families which Cnut had left behind him in England, resulting in the head-on collision between Harold Godwinsson and William of Normandy in 1066.

Richard Humble's coverage of this teeming period reminds us of many forgotten facts - how St. Augustine, bringing the Cross to the English, found that the Faith was already being practised at the court of Ethelred of Kent; how Alfred, reconstructing his shattered kingdom, looked on his wars with the Danes as a distraction from his real duties; how the feckless Ethelred bled England white with crushing payments of Dane-geld protection-money, and was brought to defeat by his own treachery; and how Cnut of Denmark, by marrying Ethelred's widow Emma, made Edward 'The Confessor' and William of Normandy cousins. And finally we are reminded that Hastings was only the prelude to the last act - the desperate attempts of the English to rid themselves of what seemed to be just another in a long series of determined and ruthless invaders.

16 PAGES OF BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS

First Published in Great Britain 1975 - by Arthur Barker Limited, 11 St John's Hill, London, SW11

BOTH BOOKS ARE IN USED CONDITION + THE DUST SHEETS ARE A LITTLE TATTY


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