Wed, 07 Jan 2015
In Search of the Dark Ages

In Search of the Dark Ages
by Michael Wood

As usual, Michael Wood is a very worthwhile historian and broadcaster and this book is a good read.

Consisting of a series of essays on pivotal episodes in Dark Age Britain, covering Boudicca, Offa, Alfred and a few others of note, it is not a full or linear history but offers a great introduction to the changing face of Britain between AD 400 and the Domesday Book. I have not seen the original BBC series but it appears to be on Youtube (what would we do without it) so I hope to watch the television programs too (even though the VHS video quality leaves a little to be desired). The book and the series covers Arthur as well, minus all the mythology (little is left actually).

I would recommend everything he's done, including his recent BBC series King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons and his essay as part of the Anglo-Saxon Portraits programs (on Penda, King of Mercia, who had quite an unfortunate end, but somehow fitting: his head was cut off and spiked).