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Recent Book Reviews

The Battle of Mount Badon, Ambrosius, Arthur and the defence of Britain

Classics For All - Reviewed by Rupert Jackson 30-Sep-2021

Most books on early British history focus on a familiar defined period, such as ‘the Roman occupation’, ‘the Anglo-Saxon period’ or ‘the Viking era’. This book is an exception. Its topic is the later years of Roman Britain and the early part of the Anglo-Saxon period.......  Hall develops the theory that King Arthur was a real person, and he led the Britons to victory at the Battle of Badon Hill. He maintains that Arthur’s proper name was Arthwys and that he was the leader who replaced Vortigern. Some readers may find this persuasive. Others may not. Either way, the book is well structured and contains some beautiful photographs. Classicists with an interest in the end of Roman Britain and its aftermath would read this book with enjoyment.


Bears in the North

An engrossing book which sheds light on the Dark Ages

It takes exceptional intelligence and imagination to shed light on Britain’s Dark Ages. Shrouded in mystery and legend, with unreliable narrators abounding, the Dark Ages often seem as impenetrable as their name suggests.....This book Bears in the North tells the story of Coel Hen, the last Duke of Britain, and his dynasty; war lords deserted by Rome but who maintained a northern army of Britons to defend against not only the Picts and the Scotti but also the mounting threat of the Saxons.....These protectors had a hand in shaping modern Britain and their legacy remains relevant today. Hall, with well-drawn and likable characters, evocative descriptions of fifth century Britain and believable and accessible dialogue, brings the warlords and their friends, families and enemies, alive. Highly recommended.

Its as good as, or better than,  Wolf Hall ( Thomas Cromwell) by Hilary Mantel.

It comes down to a detailed knowledge of the subject matter, one’s own interpretation of events and people, and being a good writer.


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