Talks

The Anglo-Saxons
by Dr Marc Morris

Date: Thursday 16 February 2023

A presentation on the turbulent history of the Anglo-Saxons

The Anglo-Saxons
The Anglo-Saxons

Sixteen hundred years ago, Britain left the Roman Empire and swiftly fell into ruin. Grand cities and luxurious villas were deserted and left to crumble, and civil society collapsed into chaos. Into this violent and unstable world came foreign invaders from across the sea and established themselves as its new masters.

The Anglo-Saxons traces the turbulent history of these people across the next six centuries. It explains how their earliest rulers fought relentlessly against each other for glory and supremacy and then were almost destroyed by the onslaught of the Vikings. It explores how they abandoned their old gods for Christianity, established hundreds of churches and created dazzlingly intricate works of art. It charts the revival of towns and trade, and the origins of a familiar landscape of shires, boroughs and bishoprics. It is a tale of famous figures like King Offa, Alfred the Great and Edward the Confessor, but also features a host of lesser-known characters - ambitious queens, revolutionary saints, intolerant monks and grasping nobles. Through their remarkable careers, we see how a new society, a new culture and a single unified nation came into being.

Drawing on a vast range of original evidence - chronicles, letters, archaeology and artefacts - renowned historian Marc Morris illuminates a period of history that is only dimly understood, separates the truth from the legend and tells the extraordinary story of how the foundations of England were laid.

Dr Marc Morris is an historian and broadcaster, specialising in the Middle Ages. He is the author of King John: Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta (Hutchinson, 2015), The Norman Conquest (Windmill, 2013), A Great and Terrible King (Windmill, 2009) and The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the
Beginnings of England (Hutchinson, 2021).

In 2003 Marc presented the highly acclaimed TV series Castles for Channel 4 and wrote its accompanying book (now published in paperback by Hutchinson). He has also contributed to other history programmes on radio and television.

An expert on medieval monarchy and aristocracy, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Marc has written numerous articles for History Today, BBC History Magazine and Heritage Today (now published together as an e-book, Kings and Castles). 

Back to the previous page