Review: In Search of the Dark Ages, Michael Wood

Rating: 4 out of 5

It’s almost a given that anyone writing about the Anglo-Saxons covers the same few moments: the end of Roman Britain, early Northumbria, spread of Christianity, 8th century Mercia, Alfred’s Wessex, and the development of the English kingdom. This is also the formula for Mr Wood, so there’s not much here that’s new for people familiar with these subjects while the questions that other works fail to answer also remain open-ended here.

That said, Mr Wood’s approach goes deeper in some subjects (for example, the identity of the Sutton Hoo burials and some of the 8th century Christianising aspects), making this still a worthwhile title in understanding the period. Reading it today, the book’s clear “competitor” is Marc Morris’ ‘Anglo-Saxons’ which I read before this, but which also came out in 2021. Although many topics are covered by both books, there’s a certain range (including the ones mentioned above) that are unique to either book, so I would recommend reading both if one has the option to do so.

About the author

Offer Up Your Thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.