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Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 9, Slice 5 English History   By:

Book cover

First Page:

Transcriber's notes:

(1) Characters following a carat (^) were printed in superscript.

(2) Side notes were relocated to function as titles of their respective paragraphs.

(3) Macrons and breves above letters and dots below letters were not inserted.

(4) The following typographical errors have been corrected:

ARTICLE ENGLISH HISTORY: "Though he disguised himself, he was detected by his old enemy and imprisoned." 'himself' amended from 'himelf'.

ARTICLE ENGLISH HISTORY: "Having so done they dispersed, not guessing that Lancaster had yielded so easily because he was set on undoing their work the moment that they were gone." 'Lancaster' amended from 'Lancester'.

ARTICLE ENGLISH HISTORY: "... but purely and solely to attaint his brother, the duke of Clarence, whom he had resolved to destroy." 'the duke' was missing.

ARTICLE ENGLISH HISTORY: "... so as to appeal to the constituencies, which did not always share in the passions of their representatives." 'the' appeared twice.

ARTICLE ENGLISH HISTORY: "The arrogant spirit of Englishmen made them contemptuous towards the colonists, and the desire to thrust taxation upon others than themselves made the new colonial legislation popular." 'contemptuous' amended from 'comtemptuous'.

ARTICLE ENGLISH HISTORY: "... and was surprised by the Zulus while reconnoitering, created a deep and unfortunate impression." 'reconnoitering' amended from 'reconnoitring'.

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION

VOLUME IX, SLICE V

English History

ARTICLES IN THIS SLICE:

ENGLISH HISTORY

ENGLISH HISTORY. The general account of English history which follows should be supplemented for the earlier period by the article BRITAIN. See also SCOTLAND, IRELAND, WALES.

I. FROM THE LANDING OF AUGUSTINE TO THE NORMAN CONQUEST (600 1066)

With the coming of Augustine to Kent the darkness which for nearly two centuries had enwrapped the history of Britain begins to clear away. From the days of Honorius to those of Gregory the Great the line of vision of the annalists of the continent was bounded by the Channel. As to what was going on beyond it, we have but a few casual gleams of light, just enough to make the darkness visible, from writers such as the author of the life of St Germanus, Prosper Tiro, Procopius, and Gregory of Tours. These notices do not, for the most part, square particularly well with the fragmentary British narrative that can be patched together from Gildas's "lamentable book," or the confused story of Nennius. Nor again do these British sources fit in happily with the English annals constructed long centuries after by King Alfred's scribes in the first edition of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle . But from the date when the long lost communication between Britain and Rome was once more resumed, the history of the island becomes clear and fairly continuous. The gaps are neither broader nor more obscure than those which may be found in the contemporary annals of the other kingdoms of Europe. The stream of history in this period is narrow and turbid throughout the West. Quite as much is known of the doings of the English as of those of the Visigoths of Spain, the Lombards, or the later Merovingians. The 7th century was the darkest of all the "dark ages," and England is particularly fortunate in possessing the Ecclesiastica historia of Bede, which, though its author was primarily interested in things religious, yet contains a copious chronicle of things secular. No Western author, since the death of Gregory of Tours, wrote on such a scale, or with such vigour and insight.

[Illustration: Map Anglo Saxon Britain 597 825.]

Conversion of England.

The conversion of England to Christianity took, from first to last, some ninety years (A... Continue reading book >>


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