This edition of Michael Wood's groundbreaking first book explores the fascinating and mysterious centuries between the Romans and the Norman Conquest of 1066. In Search of the Dark Ages vividly conjures up some of the most famous names in British history, such as Queen Boadicea, leader of a terrible war of resistance against the Romans, and King Arthur, the 'once and future king', for whose riddle Wood proposes a new and surprising solution. Here too, warts and all, are the Saxon, Viking and Norman kings who laid the political foundations of England - Offa of Mercia, Alfred the Great, Athelstan, and William the Conqueror, whose victory at Hastings in 1066 marked the end of Anglo-Saxon England.
Reflecting recent historical, textual and archaeological research, this revised edition of Michael Wood's classic book overturns preconceptions of the Dark Ages as a shadowy and brutal era, showing them to be a richly exciting and formative period in the history of Britain.
'With In Search of the Dark Ages, Michael Wood wrote the book for history on TV.' The Times
'Michael Wood is the maker of some of the best TV documentaries ever made on history and archaeology.' Times Literary Supplement
Reflecting the style of his PBS-TV In Search Of series (but without a television tie-in), Wood's carefully researched foray into early medieval Britain sifts a number of unresolved mysteries. Among them are the questions: Does archeological evidence support the theory that the real King Arthur was a British resistance hero who fought Germanic tribes around 540 A.D.? Is the Sutton Hoo grave in East Anglia the burial site of a dead king? What motivated warrior queen Boadicea to poison herself when the Romans crushed the uprising she led? Wood writes with grace and conversational verve as he incorporates the latest findings. He humanizes some of the most uninspiring or obscure figures in British history, including Ethelred the Unready; Eric Bloodaxe, ruler of Viking York; Anglo-Saxon imperialist king Offa, who staged a coup d'etat; and Alfred the Great, pioneer of town planning. History Book Club selection; BOMC alternate.