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This study is devoted to the question of how the English kingdom was formed, arguing that the eleventh-century English kingdom was defined, not by any earlier vision of English unity, but by a series of administrative reforms that appear to have been implemented in the mid- to late-tenth century.
This book brings together new research that represents current scholarship on the nexus between authority and written sources from Anglo-Saxon England. Ranging from the seventh to the eleventh century, the chapters in this volume offer fresh approaches to a wide range of linguistic, historical, legal, diplomatic and palaeographical evidence.
This groundbreaking study of coinage in early medieval England is the first to take account of the very significant additions to the corpus of southern English coins discovered in recent years and to situate this evidence within the wider historical context of Anglo-Saxon England and its continental neighbours. Its nine chapters integrate historical and numismatic research to explore who made early medieval coinage, who used it and why. The currency emerges as a significant resource accessible across society and, through analysis of its production, circulation and use, the author shows that control over coinage could be a major asset. This control was guided as much by ideology as by economics and embraced several levels of power, from kings down to individual craftsmen. Thematic in approach, this innovative book offers an engaging, wide-ranging account of Anglo-Saxon coinage as a unique and revealing gauge for the interaction of society, economy and government.
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book Robert Tombs’s momentous The English and Their History is both a startlingly fresh and a uniquely inclusive account of the people who have a claim to be the oldest nation in the world. The English first came into existence as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. They have lasted as a recognizable entity ever since, and their defining national institutions can be traced back to the earliest years of their history. The English have come a long way from those first precarious days of invasion and conquest, with many spectacular changes of fortune. Their political, economic and cultural contacts have left traces for good and ill across the world. This book describes their history and its meanings from their beginnings in the monasteries of Northumbria and the wetlands of Wessex to the cosmopolitan energy of today’s England. Robert Tombs draws out important threads running through the story, including participatory government, language, law, religion, the land and the sea, and ever-changing relations with other peoples. Not the least of these connections are the ways the English have understood their own history, have argued about it, forgotten it and yet been shaped by it. These diverse and sometimes conflicting understandings are an inherent part of their identity. Rather to their surprise, as ties within the United Kingdom loosen, the English are suddenly embarking on a new chapter. The English and Their History, the first single-volume work on this scale for more than half a century, and which incorporates a wealth of recent scholarship, presents a challenging modern account of this immense and continuing story, bringing out the strength and resilience of English government, the deep patterns of division and also the persistent capacity to come together in the face of danger.
Between the imperial coronation of Edgar in 973 and the death of Henry II in 1189, English society was transformed. This lively and wide-ranging study explores social and political change in England across this period, and examines the reasons for such developments, as well as the many continuities. By putting the events of 1066 firmly in the middle of her account, Judith Green casts new light on the significance of the Norman Conquest. She analyses the changing ways that kings, lords and churchmen exercised power, especially through the building of massive stone cathedrals and numerous castles, and highlights the importance of London as the capital city. The book also explores themes such as changes in warfare, the decline of slavery and the integration of the North and South West, as well as concepts such as state, nationalism and patriarchy.
Law and Order in Anglo-Saxon England explores English legal culture and practice across the Anglo-Saxon period, beginning with the essentially pre-Christian laws enshrined in writing by King AEthelberht of Kent in c. 600 and working forward to the Norman Conquest of 1066. It attempts to escape the traditional retrospective assumptions of legal history, focused on the late twelfth-century Common Law, and to establish a new interpretative framework for the subject, more sensitive to contemporary cultural assumptions and practical realities. The focus of the volume is on the maintenance of order: what constituted good order; what forms of wrongdoing were threatening to it; what roles kings, lords, communities, and individuals were expected to play in maintaining it; and how that worked in practice. Its core argument is that the Anglo-Saxons had a coherent, stable, and enduring legal order that lacks modern analogies: it was neither state-like nor stateless, and needs to be understood on its own terms rather than as a variant or hybrid of these models. Tom Lambert elucidates a distinctively early medieval understanding of the tension between the interests of individuals and communities, and a vision of how that tension ought to be managed that, strikingly, treats strongly libertarian and communitarian features as complementary. Potentially violent, honour-focused feuding was an integral aspect of legitimate legal practice throughout the period, but so too was fearsome punishment for forms of wrongdoing judged socially threatening. Law and Order in Anglo-Saxon England charts the development of kings' involvement in law, in terms both of their authority to legislate and their ability to influence local practice, presenting a picture of increasingly ambitious and effective royal legal innovation that relied more on the cooperation of local communal assemblies than kings' sparse and patchy network of administrative officials.

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