A new narrative history of the Viking Age, interwoven with
exploration of the physical remains and landscapes that the Vikings
fashioned and walked: their rune-stones and ship burials,
settlements and battlefields. To many, the word 'Viking' brings to
mind red scenes of rape and pillage, of marauders from beyond the
sea rampaging around the British coastline in the last gloomy
centuries before the Norman Conquest. It is true that Britain in
the Viking Age was a turbulent, violent place. The kings and
warlords who have impressed their memories on the period revel in
names that fire the blood and stir the imagination: Svein Forkbeard
and Edmund Ironside, Ivar the Boneless and Alfred the Great, Erik
Bloodaxe and Edgar the Pacifier amongst many others. Evidence for
their brutality, their dominance, their avarice and their pride is
still unearthed from British soil with stunning regularity. But
this is not the whole story. In Viking Britain, Thomas Williams has
drawn on his experience as project curator of the British Museum
exhibition of Vikings: Life and Legend to show how the people we
call Vikings came not just to raid and plunder, but to settle, to
colonize and to rule. The impact on these islands was profound and
enduring, shaping British social, cultural and political
development for hundreds of years. Indeed, in language, literature,
place-names and folklore, the presence of Scandinavian settlers can
still be felt, and their memory - filtered and refashioned through
the writings of people like J.R.R. Tolkien, William Morris and
G.K.Chesterton - has transformed the western imagination. This
remarkable book makes use of new academic research and first-hand
experience, drawing deeply from the relics and landscapes that the
Vikings and their contemporaries fashioned and walked: their
runestones and ship burials, settlements and battlefields, poems
and chronicles. The book offers a vital evocation of a forgotten
world, its echoes in later history and its implications for the
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Review This Product
Wed, 29 Jan 2020 | Review by: Lesley E
Extremely well written and informative
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