I’ve loved and lived with the story of the history of the English for as long as I can remember. This is my retelling of that story, in a regular, chronological podcast; we go from the cataclysmic end of Roman Britain, and at some point will get all the way through to the present day. The History of England is available on iTunes and a podcatcher near you.

    1.8 Revival

    Towns had simply disappeared along with the post Roman economy by 500. But slowly by 600 there’s tiny shoots of recovery discernible – so we talk about towns. And weRead More

    1.7 Conversion

    At the start of the 7th century England was a basically pagan country; by the end of it it was officially at least Christian. While no doubt many pagans stillRead More

    1.6 The Life and Times of Penda Part II

    Through much of the 7th Century, Penda increased the power and influence of the Mercians. He built his kingdom as a traditional warrior, tribal leader – defeating the Northumbrians, and EastRead More

    1.5 The Life and Times of Penda, Pt I

    7th Century England was inherently unstable, populated by a patchwork of communities, petty kingdoms successful and less so. Into this pagan mix also comes the lure of Christianity again. Meanwhile, in centralRead More

    1.3 Building a New World

    What kind of society had arrived in Roman Britain? How how did societies and communities form and become the kingdoms before the days of the Heptarchy?