Whatever you know (or think you know) about the Anglo-Saxon world, be prepared to learn much more about their language while you are gaining knowledge of their history, culture, art, warfare and all the other aspects of their society. The author and lecturer is a philologist, meaning that he is an expert on languages like J.R.R. Tolkien. Because he is able to tease out threads of culture from his scholarship with their language and manuscripts, you will discover things about the people who came to post-Roman Britain beginning in the mid-400s. Their influence continued up through the Norman invasion in 1066 and for nearly 200 more years in various parts of England and Wales. He uses the mnemonic device MCGVR (pronounced like McGyver) to help the listener recall the major elements of the Anglo-Saxon history. He lectures in an engaging and sometimes humorous way, so the presentation isn't dry, but this is DEFINITELY NOT the book if you want a quick study of Beowulf before a test. You'll learn a lot about that book but it won't be worth the price in your listening time. But if you want to be able to really KNOW something about this important era of English history so you can fit in King Alfred and all the characters named Harold and where the Vikings come into the story, this is the book for you.
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