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Lost Realms: Histories of Britain from the Romans to the Vikings

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If there is no point in describing something I haven't seen by comparing it to a book or film I haven't read, then comparing historical incidents and characters to fictional characters, places and events even when I do know them (he's fond of the film 'The Wicker man'), just blurs everything. The over all effect, and 'horny relish' is a good example, is of a style that sounds like the worse kind of tv history sacrificing accuracy for sound bites. He also has an irritating habit of insultingly dismissing anything he disagrees with as imaginative nonsense, while resorting to sweeping generalisations and unsupported assertions to support the historical narrative he prefers. Publication dates are subject to change (although this is an extremely uncommon occurrence overall).

He was a curator of the major international exhibition Vikings: Life and Legend in 2014 and is now Curator of Early Medieval Coins at the British Museum. I found the chapters on Elmet and Rheged particularly fascinating, however, the entire volume held my interest from start to finish. This book focuses on the “Lost realms” of Britain, those that we know less of, smaller kingdoms that came and went alongside more well-known places that tend to hog the limelight due to the fact we know way more about them and that they were larger and longer established (think the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Mercia, Northumbria and Wessex).However lots of the information was based on lore and snippets of evidence, so there was a lot of ‘maybe’ and possibly’. Payments made using National Book Tokens are processed by National Book Tokens Ltd, and you can read their Terms and Conditions here. In Lost Realms, Thomas Williams, bestselling author of Viking Britain, uncovers the forgotten origins and untimely demise of nine kingdoms that hover in the twilight between history and fable, whose stories hum with saints and gods and miracles, with giants and battles and the ruin of cities.

Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously. I say attempt because the whole point is the incredible paucity of evidence: a lot of kings and some kingdoms may not have existed at all. Williams tries to look beyond those known stories by comparing archeological, historical and linguistic sources. Sometimes a point was made then we went off on a few tangents only to either come back to the point way later or never mention it at all. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites.Found the fleeting references to some of the more successful kingdoms more interesting than the minor kingdoms that ultimately gave way. For all ebook purchases, you will be prompted to create an account or login with your existing HarperCollins username and password. The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. I purchased this book after hearing an interview with Thomas Williams on a podcast, but I am now looking forward to reading more of his books.

We really get an impression of the weirdness for the people of the time, living through the collapse of Roman civilisation, abandonment, cities falling into ruin, roaming gangs, the rise and fall of warlords, and then the period when the country was full of remains of a magnificent past, monuments so sophisticated they must have been left by wizards or giants. I read until I was part way through the chapter on Essex before deciding that I really wasn’t enjoying the book sufficiently, and this wasn’t compensated by the learning.

A well written and cleverly structured look at the history of the British Isles during what is often referred to as the Dark Ages; the book focuses on nine of the smaller kingdoms present within that time frame, charting their individual histories from origin to demise. He is assiduous about filling in background details (such as the Easter Controversy which is vital when it comes to assessing Bede's coverage of some events). A terrific attempt at a history of some of the kingdoms that rose and fell in Britain between the Romans and the Vikings. Though the author is a critic of Bede and Gildas as well, making me look at those authors differently and reading all the notes because of it which took some time. Archaeological and source material driven, Williams constructs what he can with the evidence available and his vivid interpretations make you think.

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