A bit of a tome this one and probably only for the devoted Anglo Saxonite scholar. I have been reading this as part of my masters course and found some parts fascinating particularly the political chapters, the big problem is however that we know so little of the early Anglo-Saxon kings that it is impossible to develop their characters and they just become a list of strange names all blending into one.
I did learn a lot about the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes arriving in England and how England wasnt really England but the heptarchy of kingdoms (Northumbria, Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, and Sussex) and how Britain at this time wasnt really Britain but was actually Wales.
F M (the M stands for Merry by the way) Stenton worked on three editions of this book and died whilst doing the third and I can understand why this might have been, it is huge and minutely detailed.
I am now doing a bit of work on ‘Was Alfred the Great really great?’ and one thing that enhanced my understanding of this book was the fantastic podcasts of David Crowther’s History of England. Don’t be put off by the design of the blog, he is very funny and cuts to the chase (normally in an episode of less than 10 minutes), so I would recommend him as a starting place if you want (or need) to know more. I hope my lecturer never reads this review.