Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

Art, Word, War
Edited by Claire Breay and Joanna Story
Published by British Library Publishing

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms showcases the British Library’s outstanding collection of manuscripts and accompanied the 2018 exhibition of the same name. 

The Anglo-Saxon period stretches from the arrival of Germanic groups on British shores in the early 5th century to the Norman Conquest of 1066. During these centuries, the English language was used and written down for the first time, pagan populations were converted to Christianity, and the foundations of the kingdom of England were laid. 

At the heart of the book are extracts from some of the greatest works of Anglo-Saxon literature, including Beowulf and other poetry; the Lindisfarne Gospels, one of Britain’s greatest artistic and religious treasures; the St Cuthbert Gospel, the earliest intact European book; and historical manuscripts such as Bede’s Ecclesiastical History and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. These national treasures are discussed alongside other internationally important literary and historical manuscripts held in major collections in Britain and Europe. 

Edited by Claire Breay, head of ancient, medieval and early modern manuscripts at the British Library, and Joanna Story, professor of early medieval history at Leicester University, the book charts a fascinating and dynamic period in early medieval history and enlivens our understanding of these formative centuries. 

Published by British Library Publishing

272 pages

Illustrated throughout


279 mm x 210 mm

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