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Novels about Anglo Saxon England?


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#1 Wolf of the Weald

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:41 AM

How many readers are out there? I started picking up on various historical fiction books a few years back and got hooked. There are not a great deal of books on Anglo Saxon Britain but I've got a list here of ones I thought were particularly good. Anyone have any other suggestions?

Bernard Cornwell - The Arthur Books (Winter King, Enemy of God, Excalibur. This is quite a good trilogy of post-Roman age Britain. Much better take on Arthurian legend!

Bernard Cornwell - The Saxon Stories. He is up to his fifth book now in this series. Good, bloody Viking age tales. The newest I just picked up is Burning Land.

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Giles Kristian - Raven Trilogy. Looks like Giles just released the follow up to his first book, 'Blood Eye'. Not bad stuff, a lot like Bernard Cornwell.

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Just discovered this book this past week but have not gotten a hold of the book yet. Looks enticing however.

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Anyone have any other suggestions?
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#2 Woden's Child

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:56 AM

Welcome, Wolf of the Weald. Try this link. There is a player on the page where you can listen to the author talk about her novel, Storm Frost. Perhaps not so much about blood-soaked battles, though it's nice to have a different slant at times.

Storm Frost
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#3 Andy

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:06 AM

If you can get hold of the Wolfshead series they are OK though short. Anglo Saxon England after Hastings.

I found the Robert Low series; Whale Road, Wolf Sea and White Raven to be a poor read, you may like them A crew of vikings voyages for magical treasures. I think I only got through two of the three.

The rise of the Saxon by Ryan West, Anglo Saxons, good read but I felt that he put a bad slant on our ancestors by making them too blood thirsty (killing kids etc)

English Heroic Legends by Kathleen Herbert. Real Eald stories our ancestors a mixed bag some good some not.

You can read some good stories here
It goes without saying Ignore the Anglophobic Arthurian rubbish.
But if you click on the ICELANDIC link to the left below the ENGLAND link then you will find some great stories/sagas of battle and honour. Several make mention of England and Englisc.
There are also the Eddas, hard going but a good read.

There is also the history written by SAXO GRAMMATICUS called Gesta Danorum, which tells of our Anglo Saxon history prior to coming to Britain (Hamlet/Amleth, Offa of Angeln an awsome read Offa is also mentioned in the poem WIDSETH as the greatest of kings). Gesta Danorum


Dark ages, dont make me laugh


Anglo Saxon Chronicles, a quick fire history book of Anglo Saxon England.

Beowulf, the Hengest mentioned is thought to be the Hengest mentioned in the Finnesburgh fragment and the first Anglo Saxon settler in post Roman Britian.

Finnisburh Fragment is a good short read. Tolkein wrote a good study on this mentioning his belief of Hengest being the same man in the three stories.

Any of the Tolkein books. Though fantasy, Tolkein was an avid Anglo Saxonist.
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#4 WELMADE

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:06 AM

My link

This Chap's book,The Amber Treasure, used to be available to download free-but you may find you have to pay now.

Read Cornwell's first three "Saxon" books whilst on holiday recently---very enjoyable.

Isn't it better than playing video games!
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#5 Hildebeorht

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:03 PM

I prefer reading myth and folklore, rather than modern novels. Beowulf is always a good start, The Earliest English Poems (containing Widsith, Deor, Brunanburh and Maldon, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The Ruin and some passages from Beowulf amongst others), the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda, as well as Sigurd and the Dragon (Saga of the Volsungs). I'd also say, if you're interested in mythology and comparing myths, that Greek, Roman and Celtic mythological cycles are interesting (with or without relativity to the above) too.

About what Andy said in regards to Hengist and the Finnsburgh fragment, I believe Tolkien carried out an interesting study into just that:

Finn and Hengest are two Anglo-Saxon heroes appearing in the Old English epic poem Beowulf and in the fragment of "The Fight at Finnsburg". Hengest has sometimes been identified with the Jutish king of Kent. He and his brother Horsa (the names meaning "stallion" and "horse") were the legendary leaders of the first Anglo-Saxon immigrants to Britain as mercenaries in the 5th century).

The book is based on an edited series of lectures Tolkien made before and after World War II. In his lectures, Tolkien argued that the Hengest of "The Fight at Finnsburg" and Beowulf was an historical rather than a legendary figure and that these works record episodes from an orally composed and transmitted history of the Hengest named in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle." This view has gained acceptance from a number of medieval historians and Anglo-Saxon scholars both since Tolkien's initial lectures and since the publication of this posthumous collection.

Tolkien's lectures describe what he called the "Jutes-on-both-sides theory", which was his explanation for the puzzling occurrence of the word ēotenas in the episode in Beowulf. Tolkien read the word as Jutes, and theorized that the fight was a purely Jutish feud, and Finn and Hnæf were simply caught up by circumstance. Tolkien explained both their presence and their ambiguous loyalty with his interpretation of the story, as follows:


http://en.wikipedia....inn_and_Hengest


The book can be found here as can just about any other book I've ever mentioned :unsure:
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#6 _Richard Denning_

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:57 PM

My link

This Chap's book,The Amber Treasure, used to be available to download free-but you may find you have to pay now.

Read Cornwell's first three "Saxon" books whilst on holiday recently---very enjoyable.

Isn't it better than playing video games!


I am Richard DEnning - "this chap" ;-)
YOu can download THe Amber Treasure for free if you register (for free) via my wesbite:
http://www.richardde...nformation.html
or buy the book here:
http://www.amazon.co...71526917&sr=8-8
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You can read reviews here:
http://www.richardde...o.uk/press.html


The Amber Treasure is about Dark Age Northumbria:
Cerdic is the nephew of a great warrior who died a hero of the Anglo-Saxon country of Deira.
Growing up in a quiet village, he dreams of the glories of battle and of one day writing his name into the sagas. He experiences the true horrors of war, however, when his home is attacked, his sister kidnapped, his family betrayed and his uncle's legendary sword stolen.

Cerdic is thrown into the struggles that will determine the future of 6th century Britain and must show courageous leadership and overcome treachery, to save his kingdom, rescue his sister and return home with his uncle’s sword.

Oh yes btw - Bernard Cornwell Alfred series is great, very much enjoying that,
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#7 WELMADE

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:07 PM

I am Richard DEnning - "this chap" ;-)
YOu can download THe Amber Treasure for free if you register (for free) via my wesbite:
http://www.richardde...nformation.html
or buy the book here:
http://www.amazon.co...71526917&sr=8-8
Posted Image

You can read reviews here:
http://www.richardde...o.uk/press.html


The Amber Treasure is about Dark Age Northumbria:
Cerdic is the nephew of a great warrior who died a hero of the Anglo-Saxon country of Deira.
Growing up in a quiet village, he dreams of the glories of battle and of one day writing his name into the sagas. He experiences the true horrors of war, however, when his home is attacked, his sister kidnapped, his family betrayed and his uncle's legendary sword stolen.

Cerdic is thrown into the struggles that will determine the future of 6th century Britain and must show courageous leadership and overcome treachery, to save his kingdom, rescue his sister and return home with his uncle’s sword.

Oh yes btw - Bernard Cornwell Alfred series is great, very much enjoying that,


Welcome Richard-------nice to have a celebrity on board.

I started to read your book after downloading it,but I found reading from the screen gave me a headache----when I fix my printer I'll start again, as I was enjoying it.
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They were not easily moved,
They were icy---willing to wait

I've lost St George in the Union Jack
It's my flag too AND I WANT IT BACK!

"Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit"—P J O'Rourke

#8 Woden's Child

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:10 PM

Welcome, Richard. I have to admit I haven't read The Amber Treasure yet, though I'll certainly make a point of doing so.
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#9 saxon pete

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:33 PM

Wolf of the weald - try lawrence j brown's huscarle and cold hand cruel heart. they are two great books and are very pro Englisc.

Richard Denning - welcome, i think i may try that one .thumbsup
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#10 Wolf of the Weald

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 03:12 AM

Thanks for all the tips, mates. I have read some of Robert Low's stuff and quite liked it. Its amazing to hear an author bring to life the past. I'll have a go at some of these suggestions!
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