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Recommended books for this time period?

jimmy44jimmy44 Senior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 351
Keen to read up about the period between 879AD and 1066AD. Can anyone recommend any decent books for this time period?

Thanks!
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Comments

  • TheInsaniacTheInsaniac Registered Users Posts: 36
    If you want historical fiction, The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell is quite good.
  • DreadedNorwegianDreadedNorwegian Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,177
    Vikings at war by Kim Hjardar. The best book about Viking ware, LOTS of illustrations and it covers everything form their tactics, wepons and all their travels across Europe to fight, including the campaigns in Ireland and UK.
    Enig og tro til Dovre faller!
  • jimmy44jimmy44 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 351
    Thanks, I'll try them out!
  • Nortrix87Nortrix87 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 991
    For enterteining Historical fiction:

    Giles Kristian(English/half Norwegian writer and from a mixed Saxon-Viking point of view):
    Raven saga(Saxon boy captured then adopted into a Viking crew. Britain, France, Scandinavia, Russia and Constantinopel greece):
    2010 Raven: Blood Eye
    2011 Raven: Sons of Thunder
    2012 Raven: Odin's Wolves
    Rise of Sigurd saga(More Viking point of view with main happenings in Scandinavia):
    2014 Rise of Sigurd: God of Vengeance
    2016 Rise of Sigurd: Winter's Fire
    2016 Rise of Sigurd: Wings of the Storm

    Bernard Cornwell( English writer and from a saxon point of view):
    The Saxon Stories( All in Britain mostly from the saxon point of view):
    The Last Kingdom (2004)
    The Pale Horseman (2005)
    The Lords of the North (2006)
    Sword Song (2007)
    The Burning Land (2009)
    Death of Kings (2011)
    The Pagan Lord (2013)
    The Empty Throne (2014)
    Warriors of the Storm (2015)
    The Flame Bearer (2016)

    Enjoyed these series :)
    "We men are the monsters now. The time of heroes is dead, Wiglaf - the Christ God has killed it, leaving humankind with nothing but weeping martyrs, fear, and shame."

    - Beowulf
  • CnConradCnConrad Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 3,163

    If you want historical fiction, The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell is quite good.

    Also made a terrific TV series.

    The TV series as historically inaccurate as it may be is exactly about this game.
  • MattzoMattzo Member United KingdomRegistered Users Posts: 1,433
    For non-fiction:

    The Anglo-Saxon World - http://amzn.eu/5UotpRB - is a comphrensive guide to everything Anglo-Saxon. Incredible book.
    The Anglo Saxons at War - http://amzn.eu/9YYwG5V - is a fantastic book on the way Anglo Saxon armies were mustered, armed and fought.
    "Everything in war is simple. But the simplest thing is difficult."
  • jimmy44jimmy44 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 351
    Thanks : ) I've started the Kingdoms TV show on Netflix. Loving it.
  • RotarrinRotarrin Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 38
    edited November 2017
    As others have said, when it comes to historical fiction covering the period, it doesn't get much better than the novels of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles (The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, etc.). Great stuff.
  • Ranger275Ranger275 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 161
    Uhtred is a G.
  • Galvinized_IronGalvinized_Iron Registered Users Posts: 862
    edited November 2017
    The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle?

    http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/657/pg657.txt

    And perhaps the Havamal:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20050912100548/http://vta.gamall-steinn.org/havamal.htm


    Books are for n00bs, pros read source material and a lot of it is freely available online
  • ErminazErminaz Senior Member Las Vegas, Nevada, USARegistered Users Posts: 5,604
    edited November 2017

    Books are for n00bs, pros read source material and a lot of it is freely available online

    But much of the source material people use is compiled in book format, such as your referenced Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, making them books; don't you mean fiction is for n00bs.
    Tacitus Quotes:
    Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.
    They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.
    The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.

    I found Rome a city of filth covered marble and left it a pile of rubble. - Me
  • tak22tak22 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,386
    actually, reading source material (primary sources) without reading background research and interpretation (secondary sources) is just as much for 'n00bs.' 'Pros' read both - starting with the secondary material.
  • Galvinized_IronGalvinized_Iron Registered Users Posts: 862
    Erminaz said:

    Books are for n00bs, pros read source material and a lot of it is freely available online

    But much of the source material people use is compiled in book format, such as your referenced Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, making them books; don't you mean fiction is for n00bs.
    With books I mean something that has already be digested and interpreted by a historian
  • Galvinized_IronGalvinized_Iron Registered Users Posts: 862
    tak22 said:

    actually, reading source material (primary sources) without reading background research and interpretation (secondary sources) is just as much for 'n00bs.' 'Pros' read both - starting with the secondary material.

    Not if you are smart, then you can learn and get the background from reading the source material, providing it is extensive of course
  • tak22tak22 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,386

    tak22 said:

    actually, reading source material (primary sources) without reading background research and interpretation (secondary sources) is just as much for 'n00bs.' 'Pros' read both - starting with the secondary material.

    Not if you are smart, then you can learn and get the background from reading the source material, providing it is extensive of course
    No, if you're smart you start with the secondary lit so that you have context for the primary sources. Otherwise you end up with a bunch of misconceptions from not understanding the primary lit and are wrong about it until (probably) you finally go and read some secondary lit that tells you why you're wrong.

    If you're reallysmart, though, you start with 2+ secondary sources that disagree with each other, then go to the primary lit with the debate in mind and decide where you come down on it ;)
  • ErminazErminaz Senior Member Las Vegas, Nevada, USARegistered Users Posts: 5,604
    edited November 2017
    tak22 said:

    tak22 said:

    actually, reading source material (primary sources) without reading background research and interpretation (secondary sources) is just as much for 'n00bs.' 'Pros' read both - starting with the secondary material.

    Not if you are smart, then you can learn and get the background from reading the source material, providing it is extensive of course
    No, if you're smart you start with the secondary lit so that you have context for the primary sources. Otherwise you end up with a bunch of misconceptions from not understanding the primary lit and are wrong about it until (probably) you finally go and read some secondary lit that tells you why you're wrong.

    If you're reallysmart, though, you start with 2+ secondary sources that disagree with each other, then go to the primary lit with the debate in mind and decide where you come down on it ;)
    My preferred method is to read the source material then read any secondary material so that I'm not coming in with other's views tainting my initial read and any assumptions I might make on my own. Hopefully I can find conflicting secondary material to both my views and the views of the writers of the different secondary material to see how I view it afterwards.

    Then again I'm sure that much of the academic world would just view me as stupid and maybe they are correct.
    Tacitus Quotes:
    Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.
    They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.
    The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.

    I found Rome a city of filth covered marble and left it a pile of rubble. - Me
  • daelin4daelin4 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 16,465
    Mostly Osprey Publishing books on the period (Viking stuff). There are of course many more out there but they have a tendency to be broad in covering topics (ie Osprey is one of the few you can reliably find on a subject Norman Castles post Hastings 1066AD, whereas other books tend to be broader, covering topics about Normans, Castles, or Hastings. This is what makes Osprey Publishing books quite popular- they cover a large range of topics in large number of books, each covering particular subjects.

    Not a fan of story-based fiction/ nonfiction myself, but I can see some creativity coming from such narratives, even if they stretch plausibility to near the breaking point (ie Greek fire used by or against Vikings in a siege)

    Corrected action is the most sincere form of apology.
  • WarlockeWarlocke Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,923
    I am currently working on a short twenty page term paper on Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne (somebody please kill me, I am so tired of the 9th century) and the idea of trying to gain anything from a text like this without any context is ridiculous. If you didn’t ground yourself with secondary sources beforehand then you are wasting your time jumping into a primary source.

    That being said, unless you are a researcher or just happen to be so well versed in history that you can identify the perspectives, agendas, motivations, and omissions of the authors, if you want to know something about a historical time period then you are probably wasting your time with most primary sources, either way.
    ò_ó
  • petertel123petertel123 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 856

    tak22 said:

    actually, reading source material (primary sources) without reading background research and interpretation (secondary sources) is just as much for 'n00bs.' 'Pros' read both - starting with the secondary material.

    Not if you are smart, then you can learn and get the background from reading the source material, providing it is extensive of course
    I doubt there is a single historian in the world who doesnt have extensive knowledge on the literature on the subject in which he is specialised. There is also not a single historian who can interpret all primary sources, as they often require specialized knowledge (knowing an obscure language for example). There is also not a single serious historian who doesnt extensively cite other authors in his literature.
    So no, books are not for noobs.
    Team Bretonnia
    Team Dark Elves
  • qtardianqtardian Registered Users Posts: 3
    First off, this community is awesome. I love the debates y'all get into about primary vs. secondary sources. Unfortunately, there are far too few of us, so WH is where the money is for CA... but that does mean more money to spend on the real games.

    Anyway, y'all are talking about source material... Im not tracking you are gonna find a whole lot that was not translated to modern English. If you have ever heard Old English, its not exactly what they are speaking in Kansas today.

    And when you have interpretation, you have bias, on top of the bias of the original author. Just look at the debates over the bible.

    So no, its not much more beneficial to have a "primary" source, vs. a well researched secondary

    Though please, if you find interesting primary sources, do share. Regardless of the order you read them in, more info=more better.
  • Ranger275Ranger275 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 161
    I wouldn't dismiss fiction. It can be fun stuff, and often educational.
  • tak22tak22 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,386
    qtardian said:

    Anyway, y'all are talking about source material... Im not tracking you are gonna find a whole lot that was not translated to modern English. If you have ever heard Old English, its not exactly what they are speaking in Kansas today.

    And when you have interpretation, you have bias, on top of the bias of the original author. Just look at the debates over the bible.

    So no, its not much more beneficial to have a "primary" source, vs. a well researched secondary.

    This reminds me, I had a professor once who was fond of the saying, 'Un tradutor' e' un traditor' (A translator is a traitor).

  • ErminazErminaz Senior Member Las Vegas, Nevada, USARegistered Users Posts: 5,604
    We also need to keep in mind that the primary sources, translated or not are not to be completely trusted. History is always written with a bias, be it the bias of the writer or the commissioner of the work. Basically you can't trust the original works, you can't always trust the translators, and you can't trust secondary works as they are often times just as biased as the works they are using to write it.

    One of the issues with the language barriers is that there are often time words that don't translate directly into one's own language and so substitutions are made resulting in a change in what might have been the writers original intent. Couple this with historians that will not look at documents that aren't in their own language and going off of secondary material that only looks at records in say English and secondary material all written using only the English documents you can have a propagandized version of the picture being reinforced and circulated rather than a more balanced less biased work.
    Tacitus Quotes:
    Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.
    They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.
    The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.

    I found Rome a city of filth covered marble and left it a pile of rubble. - Me
  • FrancescoCavalliFrancescoCavalli Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 21
    The Orkneyinga Saga - a 12th c. History of Orkney, Scotland and Norway covering from around the 7th century onwards. Fascinating and a great mine of information on how to shape an immersive, early medieval world *cough, give it a read if you haven't already CA cough*
  • Rochaid29Rochaid29 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,388

    If you want historical fiction, The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell is quite good.

    i dont know about the book, but the TV series is pure garbage.

    History channel's Vikings on the other hand... so good.. Season 5 is out now btw!
  • kinjokinjo Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,610
    Are you kidding me the battle of edington in the Last Kingdom is better then any battle I have seen in Vikings. I like both shows, I guess it is just a matter of taste.
  • Rochaid29Rochaid29 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,388
    kinjo said:

    Are you kidding me the battle of edington in the Last Kingdom is better then any battle I have seen in Vikings. I like both shows, I guess it is just a matter of taste.

    I actually watched the whole season one and could barely stomach the dialogue, the costumes! omg that ridiculous looking costume on the lead character.. spends years in it and still looks pristine clean and absurd.

    The acting was terrible, the lead character annoying AF, after a couple episodes I was hoping he'd get killed... you are right about ONE battle tho, it looked decent enough, but for the rest, definitely not my kind of show.

    And yes yes.. this is my own opinion that obviously doesn't match yours and many others i get that.
  • kinjokinjo Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,610
    The same can be said about costumes for Vikings as well with Saxons riding around with morion helmets lol.
  • JermanicusJermanicus Registered Users Posts: 12
    Barbarians to Angels - The Dark Ages Reconsidered - Peter S Wells

    This is a book I finished about six months ago and cannot recommend more. It's a quick read at only 200 or so pages. Maps, pics, archeological support and modern cities included. After reading you'll really want to grab a barbarian horde and show them civilized folks who exactly is cultured. Seriously though it's not a read for the faint, it's again a quick read but for folks looking for a scholarly debate about the time.
  • JermanicusJermanicus Registered Users Posts: 12
    edited December 2017

    The Orkneyinga Saga - a 12th c. History of Orkney, Scotland and Norway covering from around the 7th century onwards. Fascinating and a great mine of information on how to shape an immersive, early medieval world *cough, give it a read if you haven't already CA cough*

    It's on my to read list and I keep holding myself off on pulling the trigger to buy it. Perhaps this holiday it will be a gift to myself. io Saturnalia :smile:
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