The English Conquest: Gildas and Britain in the Fifth Century (Origins of England)

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9780719040795: The English Conquest: Gildas and Britain in the Fifth Century (Origins of England)

This is a re-interpretation of the events from 400 to 500 AD when the Saxons took over a large part of Britain, and came to dominate both the language and material culture of its lowland heartland. The writings of Gildas, who wrote the near contemporary and extended description of the "English Settlement", are central to the story. Higham offers his own insights into Gildas' purposes and the social, political and chronological context in which he worked. He shows how Gildas wrote around the years 479 to 485 in the context of Saxon domination south of the Mersey, and how he wrote in order to find a way to reverse the conquest, using metaphor and imagery as his literary weapon. This first volume of a three-part analysis of the origins of England shows how history can still contribute to our understanding of the "dark ages", and challenges the interpretations now being offered by many archaeolologists researching pagan England.

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