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Lost Realms: Histories of Britain from the Romans to the Vikings

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In Lost Realms Thomas Williams uncovers the forgotten origins and untimely demise of Britain’s ancient kingdoms: lands that hover in the twilight between history and fable, whose stories hum with gods and miracles, with giants and battles and ruin. A terrific attempt at a history of some of the kingdoms that rose and fell in Britain between the Romans and the Vikings. Wasting nine pages of the chapter on Dumnonia on a summary of Geoffrey of Monmoth's utterly non historical story is as baffling as the author's desire to tell the reader that the story of Arthur's conception makes him 'queasy'.

In Lost Realms Thomas Williams uncovers the forgotten origins and untimely demise of Britain’s ancient kingdoms: lands that hover in the twilight between history and fable, whose stories hum with gods and miracles, with giants and battles and ruin.

My personal favourite to read about was Elmed, located in what is now West and South Yorkshire, because I’m familiar with the area! Williams tries to look beyond those known stories by comparing archeological, historical and linguistic sources. Found the fleeting references to some of the more successful kingdoms more interesting than the minor kingdoms that ultimately gave way. With so few facts to make generalisations, the author appears happy to meander off-topic, for example to discuss differences between the calculation of the date of Easter between Roman and British Christians. Ultimately, it felt like lots of academic essays about historical places linked together in a book with some historic poetry thrown in.

Particularly enjoyable is the use of each kingdom to highlight the different forces and events changing Britain between Roman and what we consider the medieval period.

This book was incredibly fascinating and I really enjoyed learning about these little kingdoms, a lot of which I’ve never heard off. To access your ebook(s) after purchasing, you can download the free Glose app or read instantly on your browser by logging into Glose. Drawing on Britain ’ s ancient landscape and bringing together new archaeological revelations with the few precious fragments of surviving written sources, Williams spectacularly rebuilds a lost past.

Adding nothing to the information, they sound like they've been shoe horned in from an over written memoire written by someone with literary aspirations. Rather than trying to create a single narrative for the period between the 5th century and the 7th, Williams looks at individual 'kingdoms', revealing how change occurred experiences across the country. In Lost Realms, Thomas Williams, bestselling author of Viking Britain, uncovers the forgotten origins and untimely demise of nine kingdoms that hover in the twilight between history and fable, whose stories hum with saints and gods and miracles, with giants and battles and the ruin of cities. Hotjar sets this cookie to know whether a user is included in the data sampling defined by the site's pageview limit. How do we construct the past, and why do we – like the people of early medieval Britain – revere it, often finding in the tales of those long-gone a curious sense of belonging?After a stirring Prologue which sets the tone of the book, coming across as sceptical of recent revisionism and also somewhat romantic about the period, Williams sets out in an introductory chapter his process of choosing nine “little kingdoms”, lost realms, from the time in Britain between the withdrawal of the Roman Empire in about 410 until the Viking invasions that are the subject of an earlier book by Williams. Payments made using National Book Tokens are processed by National Book Tokens Ltd, and you can read their Terms and Conditions here. This is a book about those lands and peoples who fell by the wayside: the lost realms of early medieval Britain.

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