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Book Categories: Early Britain, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Anglo Saxons, Saints, East Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria, Wessex, Alfred the Great, Edward the Elder, Athelstan, Edgar, Aethelred II, Edward the Confessor, Harold II, Roman Britain, Vikings, Normans, Fiction, Children's Books, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Europe
Kings and Queens of Early Britain by Geoffrey Ashe. The English monarchy from 1100 B.C. to the 9th century A.D.
Making England, 796-1042 by Richard Huscroft. Examines how and why the kingdom of England formed, and charts the growth of royal power.
Kings & Queens of Ancient Britain by Charles Phillips. Royal history brought to life with 200 illustrations, maps, and comprehensive genealogical tables.
The History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth, translated by Lewis Thorpe. Written in the 12th century, this is one of the earliest books on British royal history. It includes accounts of King Arthur and others.
Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede, translated by Leo-Sherley Price. The first account of Anglo-Saxon England, written in 731 AD. It begins with Julius Caesar's invasion in the 1st century BC and goes on to tell of the kings, bishops, monks and nuns who shaped early England. It also describes the English landscape, customs, and ordinary lives.
Death and Religion
The King's Body: Burial and Succession in Late Anglo-Saxon England by Nicole Marafioti. The role of royal bodies, funerals, and graves in English succession debates from the death of Alfred the Great in 899 through the Norman Conquest in 1066.
The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy by Ronald Hutton. The first survey of religious beliefs in the British Isles from the Old Stone Age to the coming of Christianity, based on new archaeological evidence.
Gods, Heroes, and Kings: The Battle for Mythic Britain by Christopher R. Fee. Unearths the layers of the British Isles' unique folkloric tradition from pagan, Judeo-Christian, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, and Celtic sources.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle translated and edited by Michael Swanton. Written between the 9th and 12th centuries, the Chronicle traces the history of England from the migration of the Saxon war-lords through Roman Britain, the onslaught of the Vikings, the Norman Conquest, and the reign of Stephen.
Families of The King: Writing Identity in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle by Alice Sheppard. Argues that, in writing about the king's performance of his lordship obligations, annalists identified culture for Anglo-Saxon nobles and those who conquered them.
The Saxon and Norman Kings by Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke. A classic exploration of the history of English kings and kingship from the sixth to the 12th centuries.
The Earliest English Kings by David Kirby. A survey of Anglo-Saxon history from the sixth century to the death of King Alfred.
Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England by Barbara Yorke. A survey of the six major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and their royal families. Explains the reasons for royal houses' success and failure and changes in the office of king. Includes 16 genealogical and regnal tables.
The Kings & Queens of Anglo-Saxon England by Timothy Venning. Includes such famous figures as Hengest, Aethelburh, Enfleda, Alfred the Great, and the last Anglo-Saxon king, Harold Godwineson.
The Ruler Portraits of Anglo-Saxon England by Catherine E. Karkov. Between the 9th and 11th centuries, a unique set of images of kingship developed in England, centered on books and learning. This book explores what those images reveal about Anglo-Saxon attitudes towards history, gender, and good rulers. Includes 28 black and white illustrations.
Laws and Government
Kingship and Government in Pre-Conquest England, C.500-1066 by Ann Williams. During this period, English kings changed from warlords who exacted submission by force into lawgivers to whom obedience was a moral duty.
The Laws of the Earliest English Kings edited and translated by F. L. Attenborough. Early Anglo-Saxon laws, with a facing-page modern English translation. Covers the laws from Aethelbert to Aethelstan.
Anglo Saxon England
The Anglo-Saxons edited by James Campbell. Account of the stormy era when Britain became Christian and sustained waves of Viking invaders. Major figures such as Offa, Alfred, and Cnut are discussed in detail.
Anglo-Saxon England by Sir Frank Stenton. Covers the period c. 550-1087 and traces the oldest Anglo-Saxon laws, the growth of royal power, and the establishment of feudalism after the Norman Conquest.
After Rome edited by Thomas Charles-Edwards. Analyses the different nationalities and kingdoms that existed in Britain and Ireland.
From the Vikings to the Normans edited by Wendy Davies. Covers the history of the Britain and Ireland between 800 and 1100 AD, including monarchies and other political structures and relationships between lords and labourers.
The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England edited by Michael Lapidge, John Blair, Simon Keynes, and Donald Scragg. Some 700 articles on the history, archaeology, arts, architecture, literatures and languages of England from the Roman withdrawal to the Norman Conquest, illustrated with maps, drawings, and photos. Includes a table of the Rulers of the English, c.450-1066.
The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology translated by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Anglo-Saxon poems, including Beowulf; chronicles; laws and letters; charters and charms.
The Royal Saints of Anglo-Saxon England: A Study of West Saxon & East Anglian Cults by Susan J. Ridyard. About men and women of royal birth who came to be venerated as saints by the regional church.
Saints Edith and Æthelthryth: Princesses, Miracle Workers, and Their Late Medieval Audience by Mary Dockray-Miller. Two 15th century poems about Anglo-Saxon princesses who were venerated as saints long after their deaths, in the original and in translation, with explanatory notes and glossary.
The Life of St Edmund, King and Martyr by A. S. G. Edwards. Illustrated account of the life of the 9th century king of East Anglia, who was killed by Danes. This account was written in the 15th century.
Edmund: In Search of England's Lost King by Francis Young. The Suffolk market town Bury St Edmunds is the probable site of the body of Edmund, martyred monarch of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia, who was slain by Vikings in the 9th century.
St Edmund, King and Martyr: Changing Images of a Medieval Saint edited by Anthony Bale. Essays about the nature of St Edmund's cult from the ninth century to the early modern period.
Mercia: An Anglo-Saxon Kingdom In Europe edited by Michelle P. Brown and Carol Ann Farr.
The Earls of Mercia: Lordship and Power in Late Anglo-Saxon England by Stephen Baxter. The Leofwine family of Mercia survived the Viking wars, a palace revolution in 1006-7, Cnut's conquest, and the first years of William the Conqueror's reign. This book examines why the family retained power for so long, and why it eventually fell.
Mercia and the Making of England by Ian W. Walker. Re-examines the events of the mid-8th to the mid-10th centuries to provide a balanced account of the period.
Offa's Dyke: History and Guide by David Hill and Margaret Worthington. Offa's Dyke is an earthwork first constructed by King Offa of Mercia, possibly as a defense against the Welsh kingdom of Powys.
The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria by Max Adams. Before his death in battle against pagans, Oswald Whiteblade remodelled his northeastern English homeland as a Christian kingdom, introduced a culture of learning which influenced all Europe, and became the most powerful ruler in Britain.
Northumbria, 500-1100: Creation and Destruction of a Kingdom by David Rollason. Examines the changes that transformed the large area between the Humber and the Firth of Forth into one of the most powerful kingdoms of early medieval England.
Fortifications in Wessex, c.800-1066 by Ryan Lavelle, illustrated by Donato Spedaliere. The defence of 9th-century Wessex under King Alfred against the great Viking army was a major military achievement. Many of his fortifications survive to this day. This book describes their beginnings and subsequent use.
Aethelstan: The First King of England by Sarah Foot. Biography of the powerful and innovative King Æthelstan. He reigned only briefly (924-939), but changed the course of English history.
The Age of Athelstan: Britain's Forgotten History by Paul Hill. King Athelstan, a grandson of Alfred the Great, began his reign as king of the Anglo-Saxons in the south of England, and ended as the self-styled king of all Britain.
Athelstan: The Making of England by Tom Holland. This short biography of the first King of the English includes maps and a genealogical table.
Edgar, King of the English 959-75 by Peter Rex. Biography. Although this 10th century king was known as Edgar the Peaceable, he ruled with an iron rod and prevented Viking invasion. His sons were Edward the Martyr and Ethelred II the Unready.
Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England by Elizabeth Norton. Elfrida shared the imperial coronation of her husband, King Edgar, in 973. She plotted against her stepson, King Edward the Martyr, before arranging his murder, then ruled England on behalf of her young son, Ethelred the Unready.
Edgar, King of the English 959-975: New Interpretations edited by Donald Scragg. Essays about a king whose considerable achievements have been overlooked.
Aethelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King by Ann Williams. Aethelred became king of England in 978 and reigned largely unchallenged for 38 years, despite Danish invasions and internal strife.
Aethelred II: King of the English by Ryan Lavelle. Anglo-Saxon king Aethelred "the Unready" has gone down in history as an incompetent failure. This new biography gives insight into his turbulent 38-year reign.
Æthelred the Unready by Levi Roach. The Anglo-Saxon king Æthelred (978-1016) is infamous for his failure to fend off Viking raids and his harsh treatment of political opponents, but this book suggests he has been maligned.
The Diplomas of King Aethlred 'the Unready' 978-1016 by Simon Keynes. Royal diplomas provide insight into the relations between the king and his councillors, providing perspective on the king's reign.
Queen Emma and Queen Edith: Queenship and Women's Power in Eleventh-Century England by Pauline Stafford. The first full-scale biography of two early English queens: Emma, queen to Aethelread and Cnut, and Edith, queen to Edward the Confessor.
The Lost King of England: The East European Adventures of Edward the Exile by Gabriel Ronay. Edward Atheling, known as "the Exile," was the son of 11th century English king Edmund II Ironside (who was the son of Ethelred the Unready).
Emma, the Twice-Crowned Queen by Isabella Strachan. Biography of Emma, sister of a Duke of Normandy, who became the wife of two kings, Ethelred the Unready and Canute, and mother of two more, Edward the Confessor and Hardecanute.
Viking Rulers of England
Edward the Confessor by Frank Barlow. Biography that separates fact from myth.
Edward the Confessor, King of England by Peter Rex. Biography. Often portrayed as a simpleton, Edward was in fact wily and devious. He cunningly played off his potential rivals and successors, using the prize of the throne as leverage.
God's Peace and King's Peace: The Laws of Edward the Confessor by Bruce R. O'Brien.
Harold: The King Who Fell at Hastings by Peter Rex. Harold Godwinson was an astute political operator who won the affection of the English people.
The Godwins: The Rise and Fall of Noble Dynasty by Frank Barlow. The family of Earl Godwin of Wessex stands among the most famous in English history. Its most famous son was King Harold. This text charts the family's history through the Norman Conquest.
The Rise and Fall of the House of Godwine: The History of Dynasty by Emma Mason. Harold Godwineson was king of England from January to October 1066. For much of the previous reign of Edward the Confessor, the Godwine family had dominated English politics. This book tells the dynasty's remarkable story.
King Harold II and the Bayeux Tapestry edited by Gale R. Owen-Crocker. A collection of papers exploring the long career and dynastic network behind Harold Godwinesson, the Bayeux Tapestry, and how contemporary audiences judged Harold.
Harold: The Last Anglo-Saxon King by Ian W. Walker is a biography of King Harold II, who died fighting William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.
Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert. In 604 AD, Edwin, deposed king of Northumbria, rises to power and converts to Christianity.
Paths of Exile by Carla Nayland. When his kingdom is defeated, young prince Eadwine finds himself on the run. He must evade his enemies, avenge his brother's murder, and rescue his betrothed.
Conscience of the King by Alfred Duggan. Cerdic Elesing, King of Wessex and ancestor of all subsequent British monarchs, narrates this fictional account of how he murdered, cheated, looted and lied his way to power.
An Involuntary King: A Tale of Anglo Saxon England by Nan Hawthorne. A young Saxon king must prove himself in spite of his own self-doubt. (Set in a fictional 8th century kingdom.)
Emma of Normandy
The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick. Emma of Normandy does not love her husband, 11th century English king Aethelred the Unready, but she does love England. She spends five decades fighting to protect her people, no matter what. (Previously published under the title "The Hollow Crown.")
Shadow on the Crown: A Novel by Patricia Bracewell. In 1002, 15-year-old Emma of Normandy weds the much older King Athelred of England, but her growing love for another man and the threat of a Viking invasion jeopardize both her crown and her life. (First book in a planned trilogy.)
Godiva by Nerys Jones. Britain, 1045. The Normans are waiting to seize the throne from the Anglo-Saxon barons who support King Edward the Confessor. As courtly scheming undermines her marriage, Godiva, wife of the Earl of Mercia, is driven to a desperate act.
Godiva: A Novel by Nicole Galland. A 12th-century noblewoman, Lady Godiva, wife of the earl of Mercia, risks everything to relieve her people of taxation by riding naked through Coventry.
The Wind From Hastings by Morgan Llywelyn is a novel about King Harold and his wife, Edyth.
Lord of Sunset by Parke Godwin is another novel about the ill-fated King Harold and his wife.
Who in the World Was the Unready King? The Story of Ethelred by Connie Clark, illustrated by Jed Mickle. Why did the last Anglo-Saxon king of England leave his throne when the Vikings invaded? This biography provides a look at Ethelred and the colorful men and women who surrounded him. For children ages 4 to 8.
Discover the Anglo-Saxons: Kings and Warriors by Moira Butterfield. Offers a look at the role of kingship and military culture in Anglo-Saxon society, focusing on individuals such as Alfred the Great. For children ages 9 to 11.