England is the birthplace of many immortal legends instructed all over the world: King Arthur and Camelot, the Holy Grail, Robin Hood, the mysterious Isle of Avalon. yet are those recognized tales in line with ancient occasions and genuine humans? And what do they let us know concerning the personality and origins of the Anglo-Saxon global, a tradition that contributed to shaping American identity?
In his soaking up new booklet, Michael wooden examines the roots of English historical past. Peeling again the layers of literary and oral fabric that experience gathered over the a long time, he deals a desirable sequence of wealthy stories--part historical past, half myth--that, without delay or in a roundabout way, contact on questions of English historical past and identification. He appears to be like again on the legends surrounding Alfred the good, King Athelstan, the misplaced library of Glastonbury, and more.
Wood's emphasis is the Early center a while, and the 1st sections of the ebook supply deep tours into specific moments within the historical past of that period. as well as recounting a few famous legends, wooden considers the manuscripts and different basic assets of historic info on which they're dependent, assessing the validity of latest documentation, fleshing out historic contexts, and contemplating the remedy all through historical past of those tales by way of recognized writers, poets, and moviemakers.
In the 3rd a part of In seek of britain, Wood writes approximately locations that remove darkness from attention-grabbing facets of early England: Tinsley wooden, close to Sheffield, which has been claimed because the website of Athelstan's nice victory opposed to the Celts in 937; a farmhouse in Devon which has been occupied on the grounds that Domesday and doubtless lengthy ahead of; and the village of Peatling Magna in Leicestershire, scene of a unprecedented war of words with King Henry III in 1265. those are the locations and occasions that provide a complementary model of the heritage that's mentioned previous within the book.
In seek of britain is released at an important second. With the ecu union, and with assertions of independence in the uk, questions on English nationwide id became more and more topical either there and overseas. wooden deals a powerful and revealing account of the origins of a tradition that has had an important impression around the globe. His narrative is a wealthy unfolding of historical past and legend achieving to the current day, and a delightfully readable meditation at the roots of the Anglo-Saxon world.