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.

    6 The Great Heathen Army

    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

    5 The Noble Wolf

    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

    5a Pirates from the North

    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

    3 The Mercian Supremacy

    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

    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?