After King Alfred ensured the survival of Wessex and his son Edward expanded it his grandson Athelstan inherited the ule of Mercia and Wessex conuered Northumbria and was hailed King of the whole of Britain Holland ecounts this extraordinary story and makes it full of drama We are transported back to a time of omens and blood ed battlefields As well as giving form to Athelstan Holland introduces the great figures of the time including Alfred and his daughter Aethelflaed Holland makes sense of the family ivalries and conflicts of the Anglo Saxon ulers Holland shows us how a oyal dynasty escued their kingdom from near oblivion and fashioned a nation that endures to this day Back to this book and Holland writes a highly informative interesting ead about Athelstan and I thoroughly enjoyed eading this Athelstan is a very accessible ead that will be interesting to those new to the period and those who know about it This book is a great introduction to Athelstan and I am very impressed at how much information Holland could include in a short book I cannot wait to continue this series Absolutely intriguing I went into this book without knowing anything about Athelstan and now i feel like a pro I wouldn t have bought it if it had been a bit longer but having finished it I m wishing it had been I absolutely loved the writing style It was so hilarious. The formation of England occurred against the odds an island divided into ival kingdoms under savage assault from Viking hordes But after King Alfred ensured the survival of Wessex and his son Edward expanded it his grandson Athelstan inherited the ule of both Mercia and Wessex conuered Northumbria and was hailed as Rex totius Britanniae 'K.
Or so long the first eal King of a united England and arguably of Britain Why aren t there kids around called Athelstan He achieved a lot in his shortish life and eign 45 and 15 espectively Warrior scholar patron of the arts and devout Christian with a special elationship with the long dead St Cuthbert Interestingly he never married unlike his father Edward who was always changing his wives Athelstan was born to an early and soon to be sidelined wife As the new wives and kids graced the oyal fold Athelstan was ather forgotten about brought up at the court of his indomitable aunt but a generally good egg if you kept on the ight side of her ueen Aethelflaed of MerciaHis Grandfather Alfred the Greatearly spotted Athelstan s potential and they seem to have had a special elationshipWilliam of Malmesbury writing his life some 200 years or so after Athelstan s death said of of him He was a man whose life though short was glorious He pointed to his martial achievements as well as his passion for justice his piety and learningTom Holland s conclusion will stick with me for a while In a country that has been a unitary state for longer than any other in Europe the sheer feat of statecraft that was euired to bring it into existence isks being signally underestimated The king who founded England has largely been forgotten even by the English Recommended Figures of the age including Alfred and his daughter Aethelflaed 'Lady of the Mercians' who brought Athelstan up at the Mercian court Making sense of the family ivalries and fractious conflicts of the Anglo Saxon ulers Holland shows us how a oyal dynasty escued their kingdom from near oblivion and fashioned a nation that endures to this
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Ly pompous and melodramatic that I found myself eading bits out to people and laughing out loud Honestly I would ecommend this to anyone It wa The epic first installment of the Penguin Monarchs series describing Athelstan s achievements uniting England establishing diplomatic elations with continental European powers and managing a fractious oyal succession Athelstan s personality and even the site of the most decisive battle of his eign emain elusive but the book discusses the political and eligious influences of his times and the family who shaped his childhood and adolescence his grandfather Alfred the Great his father Edward the Elder and his warrior ueen aunt Aethelflaed of Mercia I am pleased that the Penguin Monarchs series includes volumes about the Anglo Saxon monarchs as it is essential to start before 1066 to understand the foundations of England and the monarchy I m assuming this is a good general biography of Athelstan but I felt that context and detail of the era was needed to have things make sense To say my knowledge of Anglo Saxon England is udimentary is being kind No doubt background eading would have been necessary to get eally engaged with the tale of AthelstanHolland s treatment sparked my interest but a comprehensive biography would have probably been satisfying A super little book How has this man escaped my adar Ing of the whole of Britain'Tom Holland ecounts this extraordinary story with elish and drama transporting us back to a time of omens aven harbingers and blood ed battlefields As well as giving form to the figure of Athelstan devout shrewd all too aware of the precarious nature of his power especially in the north he introduces the great.
Tom Holland is an English historian and author He has written many books both fiction and non fiction on many subjects from vampires to history Librarian Note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this name Holland was born near Oxford and brought up in the village of Broadchalke near Salisbury England He obtained a double first in English and Latin at ueens' College