100 books like The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles

By Anne Savage,

Here are 100 books that The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles fans have personally recommended if you like The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Anglo-Saxon England

Matthew Harffy Author Of A Time for Swords

From my list on the world of Anglo-Saxon Britain.

Who am I?

Matthew Harffy is the author of ten novels set in the early medieval world. His Bernicia Chronicles, follow the saga of Beobrand as he moves through the echelons of Anglo-Saxon society, fighting in many battles and dealing with the intrigues of the ever-increasingly powerful men and women with whom he mixes. Recently, with Wolf of Wessex and the A Time for the Swords series, Harffy has covered the early Viking Age with his usual eye for detail, historical realism and a gripping plot.

Matthew's book list on the world of Anglo-Saxon Britain

Matthew Harffy Why did Matthew love this book?

This is the granddaddy of history books about the Anglo-Saxons. Much of the history has evolved and moved on since its original publication in the 1940s, but Sir Frank Stenton is comprehensive and thorough and the resulting tome is jam-packed with information.

By Frank Stenton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anglo-Saxon England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discussing the development of English society, from the growth of royal power to the establishment of feudalism after the Norman Conquest, this book focuses on the emergence of the earliest English kingdoms and the Anglo-Norman monarchy in 1087. It also describes the chief phases in the history of the Anglo-Saxon church, drawing on many diverse examples; the result is a fascinating insight into this period of English history.


Book cover of History of the English Church and People

Matthew Harffy Author Of A Time for Swords

From my list on the world of Anglo-Saxon Britain.

Who am I?

Matthew Harffy is the author of ten novels set in the early medieval world. His Bernicia Chronicles, follow the saga of Beobrand as he moves through the echelons of Anglo-Saxon society, fighting in many battles and dealing with the intrigues of the ever-increasingly powerful men and women with whom he mixes. Recently, with Wolf of Wessex and the A Time for the Swords series, Harffy has covered the early Viking Age with his usual eye for detail, historical realism and a gripping plot.

Matthew's book list on the world of Anglo-Saxon Britain

Matthew Harffy Why did Matthew love this book?

As close as we come to a first-hand account of events in the first part of the early medieval period. Writing in the early 8th century, Bede was able to interview some of the people who had witnessed events he describes. Bede was undoubtedly writing from the Christian perspective and he was certainly biased in favour of his native Northumbria, but his words are like a window into the past and how people (or at least the clergy) thought.

Book cover of The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria

Theresa Tomlinson Author Of A Swarming of Bees

From my list on throwing light into the Dark Ages.

Who am I?

I spent much of my childhood living close to Whitby Abbey and heard many stories of the famous Saint Hilda. As a mother of three, I began writing stories, initially to entertain my children, and eventually published many historical stories for children and young adults – twice shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. I moved back to the Whitby area in my 60s determined to write for an older age group and indulge my lifelong fascination for the Anglo-Saxon period. I took the half pagan Fridgyth character from my Young Adult adventure mystery – Wolfgirl - and developed her role as a warm, curious, flawed, investigator. I'm working on a third Fridgyth the Herbwife novel.

Theresa's book list on throwing light into the Dark Ages

Theresa Tomlinson Why did Theresa love this book?

Good research is so important to me and this is the historical study that I’d recommend to anyone who wants to know more about the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria. Max Adams has studied the period in detail, but his style of writing is easy to read and sometimes exciting, so much so that I almost felt that I was reading a novel. I love the way Max Adams suggests various possible scenarios, from the written evidence, studies, and archaeology that we have. This is a perfect research book for a novelist, wanting to bring the time period to life. I found that I couldn’t put the book down, once I’d started reading it.

By Max Adams, Max Adams,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The King in the North as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A triumph - a Game of Thrones in the Dark Ages' TOM HOLLAND.

The magisterial biography of Oswald Whiteblade, exiled prince of Northumbria, who returned in blood and glory to reclaim his birthright.

A charismatic leader, a warrior whose prowess in battle earned him the epithet Whiteblade, an exiled prince who returned to claim his birthright, the inspiration for Tolkein's Aragorn.

Oswald of Northumbria was the first great English monarch, yet today this legendary figure is all but forgotten. In this panoramic portrait of Dark Age Britain, archaeologist and biographer Max Adams returns the king in the North to his…


Book cover of The Anglo-Saxon World

Tom Licence Author Of Edward the Confessor: Last of the Royal Blood

From my list on Anglo-Saxon England.

Who am I?

Tom Licence is Professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia and a former Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He teaches Anglo-Saxon History to undergraduates and postgraduates.

Tom's book list on Anglo-Saxon England

Tom Licence Why did Tom love this book?

The Anglo-Saxon World is the best introductory survey for students of Anglo-Saxon history. Experts in their field, the authors flesh out the traditional narrative account with insights from archaeology, numismatics, and DNA analysis. The book is splendidly enriched by almost three hundred colour photographs, tables, maps, and diagrams, while box-out sections in each chapter delve into interesting topics or debates. The authors also outline the historiography for readers who want to know how scholarly understanding of the period has developed.

By Nicholas J. Higham, Nicholas J. Higham, M.J. Ryan

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Anglo-Saxon World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Anglo-Saxon period, stretching from the fifth to the late eleventh century, begins with the Roman retreat from the Western world and ends with the Norman takeover of England. Between these epochal events, many of the contours and patterns of English life that would endure for the next millennium were shaped. In this authoritative work, N. J. Higham and M. J. Ryan reexamine Anglo-Saxon England in the light of new research in disciplines as wide ranging as historical genetics, paleobotany, archaeology, literary studies, art history, and numismatics. The result is the definitive introduction to the Anglo-Saxon world, enhanced with a…


Book cover of The Wolf and the Dove

Gina Detwiler Author Of The Hammer of God

From my list on the Middle Ages with medieval warrior heroes.

Who am I?

My passion for the Middle Ages began with castles. I lived in Germany for a time, where there are a lot of castles, and I got sucked into the whole romantic notion of living a castle life, though I’d probably have been more of a scullery maid than a princess. When I decided to try writing a novel, I figured castles had to be involved somehow. I started doing research on medieval subjects that would make a good book. Unfortunately, the time period I ended up choosing for my novel was the early 8th century—no castles. I spent over twenty years researching and writing my novel, so I hope I learned something. 

Gina's book list on the Middle Ages with medieval warrior heroes

Gina Detwiler Why did Gina love this book?

I first picked up this book at a house where I was babysitting–and I couldn’t put it down. The next day I went to Waldenbooks (yes, I am that old), and bought a copy. This was the novel that sparked my love for medieval fiction and romance as well. I read it at least three times. You could say it stole my heart when I was sixteen.

The story takes place during the Norman conquest of England in 1066. As a teenager in the 70s who didn’t know anything about history before Vietnam, I was enthralled. It was also the first romance novel I’d ever read—but definitely not the last. Yes, the love story is a bit cliché, though Woodiwiss, who practically invented the romance novel, avoided explicit sexual content in her books, unlike romance novels of today. The historical descriptions of the time period are well-drawn, and the male…

By Kathleen E. Woodiwiss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wolf and the Dove as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the Normans invade and sweep across Saxon England in 1066, lovely Aislinn of Darkenwald watches her father murdered outside her home. Wulfgar, the Iron Wolf of Normandy, arrives to rule Darkenwald, and one look at Aislinn leads him to claim her as his own. She hates the Norman conquering forces, but Wulfgar awakens a consuming passion in her that she can't deny. As she struggles with her growing love for Wulfgar, she does what she can to aid her conquered people and her bereaved mother. But a jealous lord conspires with Wulfgar's spoiled half-sister and Aislinn's very life is…


Book cover of 1066: The Year of the Conquest

Don Hollway Author Of The Last Viking: The True Story of King Harald Hardrada

From my list on to make a history buff into a history expert.

Who am I?

As a history buff—one can never be expert enough—by looking to the past I hope to glimpse the future, but mostly to make sense of the present. Power, greed and sex have driven people since before history was written, but there have always been those willing to die for something more. What causes are worth such dedication? Who were these people who were willing to give all? I was never in the military (my contact lenses are thick as bottle caps) but I try never to write battle porn, only to tell their stories as accurately and entertainingly as I can.

Don's book list on to make a history buff into a history expert

Don Hollway Why did Don love this book?

This is the book that inspired my writing career. Howarth, a British officer, and spymaster during World War II, afterward wrote some of the most accessible and engaging books on British history that I’ve ever read. 1066 offers a human view of events leading up to the Norman Conquest, particularly its effect on the common people, and with a sympathetic view toward King Harold II Godwinson, whom Norman chroniclers reviled. Reading it, I just had to write my first published article, about the Battle of Hastings. Howarth wrote two more of my favorites, Trafalgar: The Nelson Touch and Waterloo: Day of Battle. When I’m writing and realize I’m getting a little dry with people, places and dates, I back off and ask myself, “How would David Howarth have written this?”

By David Howarth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1066 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The year 1066 is one of the most important dates in the history of the Western world: the year William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings and changed England and the English forever.

The events leading to-and following-this turning point in history are shrouded in mystery. Distorted by the biased accounts written by a subjugated people, many believe it was the English who ultimately won the battle, since the Normans became assimilated into the English way of life.

Drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, David Howarth gives us memorable portraits of the kings: Edward the…


Book cover of The Wake

Jonathan Charteris-Black Author Of Metaphors of Brexit: No Cherries on the Cake?

From my list on the truth of the origins, issues, passions of Brexit.

Who am I?

If there was ever one word that seems to have changed the foundations of modern Britain it is the word 'Brexit': something that had seemed so antediluvian shifted from being impossible to becoming reality. I could not believe this was happening and I wanted to explore the influence of language in creating this reality. I decided to apply the approach I had originally authored known as Critical Metaphor Analysis to unravel the metaphors through which the arguments of Leavers and Remainers were articulated. In doing so I tried to tell the story of Brexit through its metaphors because the role of language itself is often overlooked in accounts of persuasion.

Jonathan's book list on the truth of the origins, issues, passions of Brexit

Jonathan Charteris-Black Why did Jonathan love this book?

This is a book written in its own language: one that is derived from Old English. It is written from the viewpoint of a Saxon native, a freeman, whose liberty is threatened by the outside world, invaders who respect no moral laws. Through this method, we enter the minds of the protagonist – Buccmaster of Hollandand a worldview is constructed in which the local is in a shifting balance with external sources of power. The book demonstrates how our thoughts and worldviews are realised by, and dependent upon, the language through which they are articulated. Without explicitly intending to do so, it also provides insight into much of the psychology behind Brexit.

By Paul Kingsnorth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Gordon Burn Prize 2014 and The Bookseller Industry Book of the Year Award 2015. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize.

A post-apocalyptic novel set a thousand years ago, The Wake tells the story of Buccmaster of Holland, a free farmer of Lincolnshire, owner of three oxgangs, a man clinging to the Old Gods as the world changes drastically around him. After losing his sons at the Battle of Hastings and his wife and home to the invading Normans, Buccmaster begins to gather together…


Book cover of Conquests, Catastrophe and Recovery: Britain and Ireland 1066–1485

Marc Morris Author Of The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England

From my list on medieval Britain.

Who am I?

I fell into medieval history from the moment I arrived at university, when I looked at a lecture list that included the Norman Conquest, King John and Magna Carta, Edward I – in short, the subjects of the books I have gone on to write. The attraction for me was that the medieval centuries were formative ones, shaping the countries of the British Isles and the identities of the people within them. After completing my doctorate on the thirteenth-century earls of Norfolk I was keen to broaden my horizons, and presented a TV series about castles, which was a great way to reconnect with the reality of the medieval past.

Marc's book list on medieval Britain

Marc Morris Why did Marc love this book?

This is a fantastic introduction to what was going on in the British Isles during the medieval period. The scholarship is up-to-the-minute, the writing is witty and engaging, and it is teeming with original ideas. It’s not a political history, plodding predictably from one reign to the next, but a sweeping overview, covering diverse topics such as the decline of slavery, the rise of parliament, kingship and queenship, religion, education, leisure, crime, and chivalry.

By John Gillingham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Conquests, Catastrophe and Recovery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beginning with the Norman Conquest of England, these tumultuous centuries and their invasions shaped the languages and political geography of present-day Britain and Ireland.

The Irish, Scots and Welsh fought their battles against the English with varying success - struggles which, like the events of 1066 in England, produced spectacular upheavals and left enduring national memories. But there was still a common enemy: the Black Death - still the greatest catastrophe in their history.

There were significant advances, too. Hundreds of new towns were founded; slavery, still prevalent until the twelfth century, died out; magnificent cathedrals built, schools and universities…


Book cover of Winters in the World: A Journey through the Anglo-Saxon Year

David Woodman Author Of Edward the Confessor: The Sainted King

From my list on early medieval Britain.

Who am I?

I am an Associate Professor of medieval history at Robinson College in the University of Cambridge. One exciting aspect of research about early medieval Britain is that there is always more to discover and understand, whether from artefacts being uncovered in archaeological excavations (like the Staffordshire Hoard), or from manuscripts that languish in archives and libraries across Britain without a modern translation and commentary. The books on this list—which offer insights into different aspects of early British life—are some of those that have captivated me most over my years of reading.

David's book list on early medieval Britain

David Woodman Why did David love this book?

In this sparkling book, Eleanor Parker combines lyrical prose with learned observations, to enable us to access how those in early medieval England felt about the different seasons of the year, and indeed how they connected with nature in general.

With astute readings of early poetry and prose texts, Parker reawakens the everyday life of the Anglo-Saxons while at the same time showing us our roots.     

By Eleanor Parker,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Winters in the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winters in the World is a beautifully observed journey through the cycle of the year in Anglo-Saxon England, exploring the festivals, customs and traditions linked to the different seasons. Drawing on a wide variety of source material, including poetry, histories and religious literature, Eleanor Parker investigates how Anglo-Saxons felt about the annual passing of the seasons and the profound relationship they saw between human life and the rhythms of nature.
Many of the festivals we celebrate in Britain today have their roots in the Anglo-Saxon period, and this book traces their surprising history, as well as unearthing traditions now long…


Book cover of The Times of Bede: Studies in Early English Christian Society and its Historian

Richard Shaw Author Of How, When and Why did Bede Write his Ecclesiastical History?

From my list on Bede and his Ecclesiastical History.

Who am I?

I am Professor of History at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Canada. Previously a journalist and a diplomat serving in the Middle East, since returning to academia I have published several books and a wide variety of academic articles – winning the 2014 Eusebius Essay Prize. My work is focused on source analysis and the use of sources to reconstruct the truth of the past – especially in the early Middle Ages: as a result, I have been able to discover the date of Augustine of Canterbury’s death; the underlying reasons behind the need to appoint Theodore of Tarsus as bishop; and the essential story of how Bede produced his Ecclesiastical History.

Richard's book list on Bede and his Ecclesiastical History

Richard Shaw Why did Richard love this book?

Patrick Wormald’s early death was a tragedy for early medieval studies as a whole.

Thankfully his former student, Stephen Baxter – an exceptional scholar in his own right – had the energy to carry some of his mentor’s projects over the line, including this collection of some of Wormald’s best essays, articles, and book chapters relating to Bede and his world.

Patrick was also my tutor for several undergraduate courses at Oxford as well as being the supervisor for my Master's Thesis and I too owe him a great debt. This edited collection – with the advantage of updated references and comments – showcases the searing brilliance which made Wormald such a prized commentator on everything connected to the early Middle Ages.

Coupled with Campbell's Essays in Anglo-Saxon History, readers will quickly gain nuanced perspectives on elements and themes crucial in comprehending the conversion of the early English.

By Patrick Wormald, Stephen Baxter (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Times of Bede as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written by the late Patrick Wormald, one of the leading authorities on Bede's life and work over a 30-year period, this book is a collection of studies on Bede and early English Christian society. A collection of studies on Bede, the greatest historian of the English Middle Ages, and the early English church. Integrates the religious, intellectual, political and social history of the English in their first Christian centuries. Looks at how Bede and other writers charted the establishment of a Christian community within a warrior society. Features the first map of all known or likely early Christian communities in…


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