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.
Between 871 and 878, Wessex came close to extinction, as the Great Heathen Army, the Great Summer Army, and Guthrum the Dane came to conquer. The Campaigns In 870 theRead More
Everything changed for Anglo Saxon England in 866; the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok came for conquest, not just treasure and slaves. The Arrival in East Anglia, 866 In 866, aRead More
Æthelwolf hasn’t always had the best press. None the less he laid the basis of an effective and well organised state centred on the traditional heartlands of Wessex, and one betterRead More
The Vikings visited fire, destruction – and trade – on a bemused and terrified 8th C Europe. Who were they, where did they come from, where did they go andRead More
After Wulfhere, Aethelred and Aethelbald laid the foundations, a prince from the Hwicce, Offa, took Mercia to its greatest achievements. Cynewulf and Cyneheard In 755, the AngloRead More
Pretty much a century in just one, fun-filled episode – 650 ish to 750 is. It’s Mercia’s turn – an increasingly integrated Mercia, growing in power. With yer Wulfhere’s and Æthelbalds,Read More
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
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
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
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
It’s difficult to know how much to believe of the stories relayed in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle about the formation of the early kingdoms – do they simply reflect the historyRead More
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?
The traditional story of the arrival of the Anglo Saxons is one of death and destruction, and the catastrophic and complete replacement of a British population by a new GermanicRead More
This is the story of late antique Britain. How in the 3rd to 5th centuries, Britain went through two waves of economic dislocation and transformation, that changed the face ofRead More
Before we start, an episode is about the people who kept a written record of the Anglo Saxon age, and what later generations thought about the Anglo Saxons. Check outRead More