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Athelstan: The Making of England

Penguin Monarchs, Book 3
Narrated by: Roy McMillan
Length: 2 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: History, European
4 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Athelstan: The Making of England by Tom Holland, read by Roy McMillan. 

The formation of England happened against the odds - the division of the country into rival kingdoms, the assaults of the Vikings, the precarious position of the island on the edge of the known world. But King Alfred ensured the survival of Wessex, his son Eadweard expanded it, and his grandson Æthelstan finally united Mercia and Wessex, conquered Northumbria and became Rex totius Britanniae.

Tom Holland recounts this extraordinarily exciting story with relish and drama. We meet the great figures of the age, including Alfred and his daughter Æthelflæd, 'Lady of the Mercians', who brought Æthelstan up at the Mercian court. At the end of the book we understand the often confusing history of the Anglo-Saxon kings better than ever before.

©2016 Tom Holland (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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Profile Image for Julian Crump
  • Julian Crump
  • 06-13-19

Superb introduction to the foundation of England

This is a short, factual biography of the history of King Athelstan, the first King of the English, and the creation of England as we know it today - history that is seldom if at all covered in school curricula that begin in 1066 with Norman Conquest (aka the last Viking invasion of Britain). King Athelstan, the grandson of King Alfred of Wessex, who saved his kingdom from total conquest by the Danes and dreamt of a united, Christian kingdom of the English, was a master strategist who step by step realised his grandfather's vision, building on solid foundations laid by his father, King Edward. An easily digestible, highly engaging book for anyone interested in how England really came to be.

2 people found this helpful