Publication Date: 04/02/2021 ISBN: 9781788543477 Category:

The First Kingdom

Max Adams

Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 04/02/2021 ISBN: 9781788543477 Category:




The bestselling author of The King in the North turns his attention to the obscure era of British history known as ‘the age of Arthur’.

‘Not just a valuable book, but a distinctive one as well’ Tom Holland, Sunday Times

‘An accessible and illuminating book’ Gerard de Groot, The Times

‘A fascinating picture of Britain’s new-found independence’ This England

Somewhere between the departure of the Roman legions in the early fifth century and the arrival of Augustine’s Christian mission at the end of the sixth, the kingdoms of Early Medieval Britain were formed. But by whom? And out of what?

The First Kingdom is a skilfully wrought investigation of this mysterious epoch, synthesizing archaeological research carried out over the last forty years to tease out reality from the myth. Max Adams presents an image of post-Roman Britain whose resolution is high enough to show the emergence of distinct political structures in the sixth century – polities that survive long enough to be embedded in the medieval landscape, recorded in the lines of river, road and watershed, and memorialized in place names.

Publisher Review

PRAISE FOR MAX ADAMS: 'A triumph. The most gripping portrait of 7th-century Britain that I have read' Tom Holland, on The King in the North. 'Essential reading for all those interested in late Anglo-Saxon Britain' History Today, on Aelfred's Britain. 'A beautifully written archae-travelogue' TLS, on In the Land of Giants.

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