Tuesday, 1 February 2011
The West Saxon Bretwalda - History of England by David Crowther
This is the second podcast in a new series being done by David Crowther following the royal family of England. He starts with the Saxon invasion and the rise of the house of Wessex. We are still back in the sixth century here so they haven't risen very far yet. In this episode Caelwin is basically fighting a lot.
There is a temptation with this period, given the lack of hard information and the romantic J.R.R.Tolkien style names to treat it as a big romantic romp where men were men and fighting other men was the main thing worth talking about. David gives into this temptation with glee. If you want to hear about field systems and economic development and other serious stuff you should probably give this a miss. But if you want to be entertained by somebody with enthusiasm and who clearly loves what he is talking about this podcast is well worth adding to your download list.
Just a couple of caveats - if you don't know the geography of England well you might want to have a look at the maps on his website before. Also if you know nothing at all about European history this might not be the best place to start. He does assume quite a lot of background knowledge. If you don't already know who the Venerable Bede is, or what St Augistine is famous for in British history you might miss some of the references.
Discuss this and other history podcasts on the history podcast forum.