Here are five new books on England in the Middle Ages, including one which you can download for free.
By Darren Baker
Pen and Sword
ISBN: 978 1 52674 751 8
Excerpt: London, 20 January 1236, and the King of England has arrived with his new bride, whom he married six days earlier in Canterbury. The wealthiest citizens have greeted them as a mounted troop, each wearing costly garments and bearing 360 gold or silver cups to be used at the upcoming coronation banquet. They eat into formation behind the king’s trumpeters, who lead the procession through the city gates to Westminster a little under two kilometres down the road. After the anointing and crowning of the new queen in the abbey, the party proceeds to the Great Hall, where the king and queen take their place at the table on the dias.
By Thomas Williams
Excerpt: Between 842 and 1016 London was assaulted by Vikings on at least a dozen separate occasions. Sometimes it burned and sometimes in surrendered, mostly it stood firm when all others had given up hope; and throughout it all the city endured, remaking and remodelling itself, growing strong in adversity, unique in economic and power, a crucible of cultures, enterprise and political intrigue: a maker of kings, the heart of a North Sea empire. This book is a sketch of London in the Viking Age, how it remade itself, how it transformed by immigrants and natives, kings and commoners into the fulcrum of national power and identity.
By Sarah Salih
ISBN: 978 1 84384 540 9
Excerpt: How did medieval England, a culture that filled its halls and churches with images, manage the dissonance of its dual heritage of Biblical iconophobia and classical iconophilia? A specific question about the propriety of devotional imagery opens into a broader one about the relationship between humans and their artefacts.
Edited by Anthony Bale and Sebastian Sobecki
Oxford University Press
Excerpt: The texts gathered in this book relate to various aspects of travel in the later medieval period. Our earliest text is the unusual and important case of Saewulf, and our latest texts are from the sixteenth century. All the texts come from England and all of them (except Saewulf’s) were written in English, although some were translations from other languages. Our emphasis has been on making these texts accessible to a modern audience and a wide readership: we have provided glosses to understand difficult words in Middle English, and contextual information, intended to help orientate the reader.
By Mark McKerracher
Excerpt: Between the 7th and 9th centuries AD, much of Europe and the Mediterranean world experienced a step-change in agricultural productivity. Farmlands in the Germanic north-west witnessed the layingout of new field systems, the introduction of intensive turf-manuring, and a growth in grain storage spaces, which implies the growth of surplus production. Cereal cultivation was expanding, with a particular emphasis on rye and oats. In contemporary Carolingian Francia, documentary evidence for a profusion of mills, breweries and bakeries – especially on monastic estates – similarly points to a significant upturn in the production of cereal goods.