#DOWNLOAD É The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria ô eBook or E-pub free

St Oswald s story is a remarkable romance He was a exiled rightful heir who returned to claim his crown he was a Christian warrior saint who died in battle against the heathen Adams tells this story both with an engaging style and with historical rigour. An excellent and very readable history of 7th century Anglo Saxon England, focusing on Oswald, king of Northumbria hero of Bede s Ecclesiastical History, founder of Lindisfarne and inspiration for J.R.R Tolkien s Aragorn Setting him in the context of his time, the book explores the dynamic between the pagan traditions of the warrior king and the new themes of eternal salvation being introduced by Christian missionaries and the Irish monastic tradition Blending archaeological evidence with m An excellent and very readable history of 7th century Anglo Saxon England, focusing on Oswald, king of Northumbria hero of Bede s Ecclesiastical History, founder of Lindisfarne and inspiration for J.R.R Tolkien s Aragorn Setting him in the context of his time, the book explores the dynamic between the pagan traditions of the warrior king and the new themes of eternal salvation being introduced by Christian missionaries and the Irish monastic tradition Blending archaeological evidence with material from Bede s Ecclesiastical History, Adams creates a plausible and absorbing narrative of a young man s journey from exile to kingship and beyond, from martyrdom to the status of one of the most revered saints of medieval Europe It s not a short book, but it s gripping stuff A hard copy is recommended rather than the Kindle version I read, if only because you will need access to the family tree in order to keep track A super introduction to Anglo Saxon England and the culture of this time when the country teetered on the brink between its pagan history and its largely Christian future For a longer review, please see my blog I welcome comments #DOWNLOAD ⚡ The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria ¶ Oswald Whiteblade lived one of the most influential and colourful lives in early English history Before his death in battle against the pagans of Mercia cut short his reign as king of Northumbria , he remodelled his northeastern English homeland as a Christian kingdom, founded the monastery of Lindisfarne, introduced a culture of learning which influenced all Europe, and became the most powerful ruler in BritainMax Adams s thrilling account rescues Oswald from Dark Age obscurity to reveal an unjustly forgotten English hero a king whose return from exile to reclaim his birthright was the inspiration for J R R Tolkien s Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings But The King in the North is than just a biography of the first great English monarch it is a stunningly researched, wide ranging, beautifully written and revelatory portrait of early medieval England in all its aspects This book is a fabulous look into the players of early medieval England In depth, yet still readable, this was a lovely surprise I wish I had read it will studying medieval England for my MA. Not surprisingly, Max Adams book finds an appreciative reader in me it s all about Northumbria Although ostensibly a biography of Oswald, in fact it tells the story of the great age of the kingdom, starting with its emergence into history under the Twister Aethelfrith, through my favourite, Edwin, to Oswald, Oswiu and Ecgfrith, with an afterword about the golden cultural age of the eighth century Adams is never less than fascinating, he brings to light all sorts of nuggets of information a Not surprisingly, Max Adams book finds an appreciative reader in me it s all about Northumbria Although ostensibly a biography of Oswald, in fact it tells the story of the great age of the kingdom, starting with its emergence into history under the Twister Aethelfrith, through my favourite, Edwin, to Oswald, Oswiu and Ecgfrith, with an afterword about the golden cultural age of the eighth century Adams is never less than fascinating, he brings to light all sorts of nuggets of information and parallels I particularly liked the comparison between Oswald and Thomas Cochrane, the premier frigate commander of the Napoleonic Wars and a man of such daring his exploits would appear ridiculous in a film and his book brims with a life long love of the subject In fact, the only other book on Northumbria I d recommend as highly is my own, and Adams beats me into a cocked hat with the absolutely superb double page map on the inside front cover, which shows Northumbria and the other kingdoms of northern Britain in the style of the map in The Lord of the Rings , all hand drawn hills and sketched forests Superb, and on its own responsible for an extra, fifth star Well done, Mr Cartographer This book has a lot going for it The time period is thoroughly interesting and the personages involved fascinating, but it lacked a clear narrative It was not so much about St Oswald but the formation of the Northumbrian state from say 600 up to 793 AD Adams does put forth an interesting supposition for why the Vikings struck namely the lack of miltary men and warriors caused the proclivity of Northumbrian kings to gift land to the church In other words because the Northmen knew the area This book has a lot going for it The time period is thoroughly interesting and the personages involved fascinating, but it lacked a clear narrative It was not so much about St Oswald but the formation of the Northumbrian state from say 600 up to 793 AD Adams does put forth an interesting supposition for why the Vikings struck namely the lack of miltary men and warriors caused the proclivity of Northumbrian kings to gift land to the church In other words because the Northmen knew the area from their various voyages, they were able to take advantage of the situation Most of the research I have read has concentrated on the why the Northmen might raid, not why Lindisfarne might have been chosen and was there any interent weakness in the political situation in the Northumbrian hierarchy But I digress.Adams does give a comprehensive account of Northumbria and various personages involved Personally I think Oswy, the only 7th century king to die in his bed and defacto high king of Britain aintersting character than his brother St Oswald I thought Elanflead, his queen, thoroughly intriguing The book has made me determine to walk both St Oswald s Way and St Cutherbert s plus visit Yeltholm So, I wasn t too sure about this when I started reading it because it wasn t quite as scholarly as I was expecting That said, it kept me reading so it must have had something going for it Initially the author s modern descriptions of the places mentioned annoyed me, but then, I know many of the places so didn t need the extra information To those who ve never visited Bamburgh etc, they ll probably enjoy the little extras.Also, the title is a little misleading, as it s not just about Oswald P So, I wasn t too sure about this when I started reading it because it wasn t quite as scholarly as I was expecting That said, it kept me reading so it must have had something going for it Initially the author s modern descriptions of the places mentioned annoyed me, but then, I know many of the places so didn t need the extra information To those who ve never visited Bamburgh etc, they ll probably enjoy the little extras.Also, the title is a little misleading, as it s not just about Oswald Perhaps a better description would have been Northumbria in the Seventh Century.For all that, this is an engaging book, well told, and it works hard to produce a comprehensive account of the Kings of Northumbria and to make them appear personable What I enjoyed most was it s acceptance that during this time, Northumbria didn t necessarily look to the South of England but to Scotland and Ireland The use of Scottish and Irish sources was a welcome addition to the normal Bede and Nennian sources Well done author and thanks What we actually know about Oswald would fill several pages, at best, so Adams has to take a much wider aim and he succeeds brilliantly The life and legacy of Oswald is placed in the context of the changing Anglo Saxon society of the 7th century, with asides on its periphery, social structures, religious developments, general tribal politics and emergence of nations all written with clear erudition and love of both the subject and the landscape Choices made by Oswald and his immediate succes What we actually know about Oswald would fill several pages, at best, so Adams has to take a much wider aim and he succeeds brilliantly The life and legacy of Oswald is placed in the context of the changing Anglo Saxon society of the 7th century, with asides on its periphery, social structures, religious developments, general tribal politics and emergence of nations all written with clear erudition and love of both the subject and the landscape Choices made by Oswald and his immediate successors set up patterns that played a major part in later events of Northumbrian and general English history, from Viking raids all the way to the Dissolution This is how history books should be written embedded in a wider weave, details placed in context and clearly described as part of a pattern Good stuff on a fascinating and still little known subject 3.5 starsMy first attempt at reading this book was a failure While I found much of it to be both interesting and well written I ended up being defeated by other elements that I found much less interesting namely the author s digressions into archaeological and topographical details of the areas he describes Now, given that the author is an archaeologist I can t fault him for these details and I in no way wish to impugn the value of archaeology in shedding significant light onto the past, esp 3.5 starsMy first attempt at reading this book was a failure While I found much of it to be both interesting and well written I ended up being defeated by other elements that I found much less interesting namely the author s digressions into archaeological and topographical details of the areas he describes Now, given that the author is an archaeologist I can t fault him for these details and I in no way wish to impugn the value of archaeology in shedding significant light onto the past, especially in cases where we have little or no literary evidence to go on I just personally find archaeology especially when described in detail to be kind of, well, boring quite frankly and thus these sections hampered my progress into the book I ve recently been bitten by an interest in the Anglo Saxon period of British history, however, and thus kept thinking about coming back to the book given its other virtues After reading Niccola Griffith s Hild to which this book acts as an excellent companion esp the earlier chapters that cover Edwin s rise and reign I decided that I should give The King in the North another try and I m glad I did.When Adams is talking about pure history as opposed to archaeology he weaves a compelling story indeed He has an obvious deep interest in and one might even say an affection for these characters and his attempts to trace the rise of Northumbria as both a unified kingdom, and ultimately a central power in early Anglo Saxon England, is compelling It is also quite impressive given the sparcity of historical details that we have from primary sources, and while he certainly points out areas in which his proposed narrative does not rest on certainty he does not seem as leery as many other academics when putting forward his own interpretation of possible events, a fact which I found quite refreshing.The book covers the main political and historical events that revolve around the kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira later to be unified as Northumbria roughly from the reign of Aethelfrith in the early 600s to that of Aldfrith in the 680 s with the discussion moving sometimes earlier than the former or later than the latter when required Special emphasis is given to the kings Edwin, Oswald naturally given the book s title , and Oswiu during whose reigns the real consolidation of Northumbrian power occurred In addition to the lives of these kings and their families and enemies Adams also pays close attention to the Christian monastic and non monastic establishments to which these leaders had strong connections, seeing in their reigns the beginning of the strong link between church and state that was to characterize the British political arena until Henry VIII decided he wanted it all for himself centuries later and which really just carried on the unity in a different way, albeit one wherein the distinction between church and monarch became all but indistinguishable In a related area Adams also sees this era as the point in time in which the concept of an English state that could survive beyond the lifetime of the king, one held together bythan his strength of personality and whose gains were ultimately lost at his death to be begun again by his successor, was born In essence by uniting itself with the newly nascent, and increasingly powerful, Church the monarchy of the Anglo Saxons was able to have a form of institutional continuance beyond the person of the king Of course this union was to have other, unforeseen, consequences for the burgeoning English monarchy as time wore on.Ultimately, archaeological digressions aside, I would have to say that this was one of thecompelling history books I have read and its strong narrative structure makes it a fairly easy and enjoyable read It certainly deepened my appreciation for the history of the era and the many complexities of the tangled political, religious, and personal relationships that were bound up in the ultimate birth of what would eventually become known several hundred years after the main events portrayed in this book as the kingdom of England Recommended Oswald Whiteblade was an early King of Northumbria in northern England during the Dark Ages who apparently served as the inspiration for Tolkien s Aragorn, and was also a focus of the Venerable Bede s most famous work, the Ecclesiastical History He also became a Saint of the early English church, and his cult had an enduring and wide ranging power, spreading to the Continent as far away as Germany and Switzerland.The problem with any look at the Dark Ages is the scarcity of sources Max Adams i Oswald Whiteblade was an early King of Northumbria in northern England during the Dark Ages who apparently served as the inspiration for Tolkien s Aragorn, and was also a focus of the Venerable Bede s most famous work, the Ecclesiastical History He also became a Saint of the early English church, and his cult had an enduring and wide ranging power, spreading to the Continent as far away as Germany and Switzerland.The problem with any look at the Dark Ages is the scarcity of sources Max Adams is forced to rely almost entirely on Bede, as well as a handful of Annals and Chronicles, some contemporary, some not, and as a result there are a massive amount of what ifs Adams does a good job of reconstructing a plausible timeline of events though, using a lot of archaeological research, but he s inevitably forced to do a lot of speculating and guesswork Overall it s a fairly interesting look at early Anglo Saxon England and the birth of the English Church