[Review] The Story of England by Michael Wood
Author: Michael Wood
Publisher: Penguin, reprint edition May 29, 2012
Genre: Non-fiction, history of England.
Theme: English History
Rating: 5 Stars
Michael Wood's book The Story of England was a documentary on PBS in the summer of 2012.
Michael Wood's site: http://michaelwood.moonfruit.com/
Wood's current project on King Alfred: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03816y5
Michael Wood has written an enticing story of English history with the focus on the town of Kibworth. History for Kibworth, England began: "in the Middle Bronze Age, roughly between 1500 and 1000 BC, a time which saw the beginnings of organized societies in Britain, and with them for the first time long-distance trade." He traces Kibworth's known origins from the Bronze Age, to the Roman, Celt, Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Norman invaders. Each of their influences to society and culture is reflected on. A comprehensive study of the Black Death, famines, wars, Magna Carta, religion, intermarriage with the invading peoples, education, superstition, agriculture, science, and royal families are taught.
The majority of history is from Kibworth's known beginning in first century AD to the Protestant Reformation, minimal history on the last 300 years. I am a fan of Medieval history and this book made an impression on me. When I first began reading British history I was interested in the Victorian period. Over the past few months I've began reading books on Medieval period or the Middle Ages, 5th through 15th centuries. I guess I'm working my way back, next it will be Prehistoric Britain, Bronze Age and or Late Antiquity.
Points of interest:
- Invader groups and how they changed society and culture; this included intermarriage, and how people groups adapted to "them".
- Christianity's influence in England.
- King Ethelred, King Harold, the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings.
- The Black Death.
- The Reformation and its influence in England, including the years that it was considered heresy.
I would love to be able to watch this television program, but it's not available in America.
Link @ Amazon: