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History of the English People, Volume I Early England, 449-1071; Foreign Kings, 1071-1204; The Charter, 1204-1216   By: (1837-1883)

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First Page:

HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE, VOLUME I

by

JOHN RICHARD GREEN, M.A. Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford

EARLY ENGLAND, 449 1071 FOREIGN KINGS, 1071 1204 THE CHARTER, 1204 1216

First Edition, Demy 8vo, November 1877; Reprinted December 1877, 1881, 1885, 1890. Eversley Edition, 1895. London MacMillan and Co. and New York 1895

I Dedicate this Book

TO TWO DEAR FRIENDS MY MASTERS IN THE STUDY OF ENGLISH HISTORY

EDWARD AUGUSTUS FREEMAN AND WILLIAM STUBBS

CONTENTS

Volume I

Book I Early England 449 1071

Authorities for Book I

Chapter I The English Conquest of Britain 449 577

Chapter II The English Kingdoms 577 796

Chapter III Wessex and the Northmen 796 947

Chapter IV Feudalism and the Monarchy 954 1071

Book II England under Foreign Kings 1071 1204

Authorities for Book II

Chapter I The Conqueror 1071 1085

Chapter II The Norman Kings 1085 1154

Chapter III Henry the Second 1154 1189

Chapter IV The Angevin Kings 1189 1204

Book III The Charter 1204 1307

Authorities for Book III

Chapter I John 1204 1216

LIST OF MAPS

Britain and the English Conquest (v1 map 1.png)

The English Kingdoms in A.D. 600 (v1 map 2.jpg)

England and the Danelaw (v1 map 3.jpg)

The Dominions of the Angevins (v1 map 4.jpg)

Ireland just before the English Invasion (v1 map 5.jpg)

VOLUME I

BOOK I EARLY ENGLAND 449 1071

AUTHORITIES FOR BOOK I 449 1071

For the conquest of Britain by the English our authorities are scant and imperfect. The only extant British account is the "Epistola" of Gildas, a work written probably about A.D. 560. The style of Gildas is diffuse and inflated, but his book is of great value in the light it throws on the state of the island at that time, and above all as the one record of the conquest which we have from the side of the conquered. The English conquerors, on the other hand, have left jottings of their conquest of Kent, Sussex, and Wessex in the curious annals which form the opening of the compilation now known as the "English" or "Anglo Saxon Chronicle," annals which are undoubtedly historic, though with a slight mythical intermixture. For the history of the English conquest of mid Britain or the Eastern Coast we possess no written materials from either side; and a fragment of the Annals of Northumbria embodied in the later compilation ("Historia Britonum") which bears the name of Nennius alone throws light on the conquest of the North.

From these inadequate materials however Dr. Guest has succeeded by a wonderful combination of historical and archæological knowledge in constructing a narrative of the conquest of Southern and South Western Britain which must serve as the starting point for all future enquirers.

This narrative, so far as it goes, has served as the basis of the account given in my text; and I can only trust that it may soon be embodied in some more accessible form than that of a series of papers in the Transactions of the Archæological Institute. In a like way, though Kemble's "Saxons in England" and Sir F. Palgrave's "History of the English Commonwealth" (if read with caution) contain much that is worth notice, our knowledge of the primitive constitution of the English people and the changes introduced into it since their settlement in Britain must be mainly drawn from the "Constitutional History" of Professor Stubbs.

Bæda's "Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum," a work of which I have spoken in my text, is the primary authority for the history of the Northumbrian overlordship which followed the Conquest. It is by copious insertions from Bæda that the meagre regnal and episcopal annals of the West Saxons have been brought to the shape in which they at present appear in the part of the English Chronicle which concerns this period. The life of Wilfrid by Eddi, with those of Cuthbert by an anonymous contemporary and by Bæda himself, throws great light on the religious and intellectual condition of the North at the time of its supremacy... Continue reading book >>


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