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New Medieval Books: Early Medieval Britain

Five new books that look at England, Scotland and Wales in the Early Middle Ages (the one on Wales is stretching the term early medieval, but we wanted to include it anyways).

Making England, 796-1042

By Richard Huscroft

Routledge
ISBN: 987-1-138-18246-2

Excerpt: So what was ‘English’ about England at the end of the eighth century? Certainly not its politics, which were fragmented and divided along regional and local lines. When King Offa of Mercia died in 796, the starting-point of this book, England was a long way from being a single kingdom ruled by a single king, and there was little indication that it would ever become one.

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Scotland in Early Medieval Europe

Edited by Alice E. Blackwell

Sidestone Press
ISBN: 978-90-8890-752-4

Excerpt: This volume explores how (what is today) Scotland can be compared with, contrasted to, or was connected with other parts of Early Medieval Europe. The image chosen for the cover, part of an 8th-century Christian carved-stone monument from Easter Ross, embodies this aim. Some of the elements of this sculpture are local: both the monument type – a substantial relief-carved slab – and the Pictish symbols at the top of the slab are specific to parts of northern and eastern Scotland. Other elements, like the nourishing vine that frames the slab, allude to international Christian connections.

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Medieval Wales, c.1050 – 1332: Centuries of Ambiguity

By David Stephenson

University of Wales Press
ISBN: 978-1-78683-386-0

Excerpt: With the advantage of being able to draw on the considerable amount of fresh work that has appeared in the present century, often based on recently published definitive editions of crucial source material, embracing the acta of Welsh rulers of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the poetry addressed to rulers in the same period and to the uchelwyr of the fourteenth and subsequent centuries, it is perhaps time to open up new areas for investigation and, perhaps, subsequent debate.

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The King in the North: The Pictish Reals of Fortriu and Ce

By Gordon Noble and Nicholas Evans

Birlinn
ISBN: 978 1 78027 551 2

Excerpt: The volume tracks the rise of Pictish society from the first references in the late Roman period to the development of the powerful Pictish kingdoms in the early medieval era. The focus in the book is on the modern local government regions of Aberdeenshire, Moray, Inverness-shire and Easter Ross, areas that were probably included in the Pictish territories of Fortriu and Ce.

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Formative Britain: An Archaeology of Britain, Fifth to Eleventh Century AD

By Martin Carver

Routledge
ISBN: 978-0-415-52475-9

Excerpt: The subject of this book is the island of Britain and what happened there between the 5th and the 11th century, from 1,600 to 900 years ago… as I hope to show, far from being inscrutable, it was ambitious, intellectual, experimental, mobile and creative – an arena hosting a collision of ideas between deep prehistory and the Christian Roman Empire, bubbling cauldron that would result in something new, different, remarkable and enduring.

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