Catalogue


Æthelstan [electronic resource] : the first king of England /
Sarah Foot.
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2011.
description
xiv, 283 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780300125351 (cl : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2011.
isbn
9780300125351 (cl : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8837188
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-03-01:
When presented with the life of an Anglo-Saxon king, some students may preemptively bristle with boredom, but Foot's ^DAEthelstan is no dry biography. It is a masterful, accessible, historical analysis of the king, the man, and the era, and a critical approach to historical memory and the genre of biography. Structuring her study around the environments or spheres of ^DAEthelstan's world, rather than chronology, Foot (Univ. of Oxford) reveals ^DAEthelstan as more than the renowned victor of Brunanburh. In court, kingdom, and church, ^DAEthelstan was an avid patron of poets, a collector of relics, a concerned and innovative lawgiver, a cosmopolitan ruler, and, demonstrably, the first king of England. ^DAEthelstan is the sort of text around which seminars are built, not only for the book's unique and critical biographical approach and masterful use of wide-ranging sources, but for its rich context for the Early Middle Ages, English history, and more. In addition to wealthy primary and secondary bibliographies, Foot provides extremely well-conceived maps and appendixes, especially Appendix II, which tracks ^DAEthelstan's reign through primary sources. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above. V. E. Szabo Western Carolina University
Appeared in Library Journal on 2011-09-01:
Foot (Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Christ Church Coll., Oxford; Monastic Life in Anglo-Saxon England, c.600-900) utilizes primary and secondary sources to bring attention to this significant ruler of pre-Norman England. Indeed, as Foot asserts, AEthelstan's diverse accomplishments during his short reign (924-39 C.E.) merit a "coaxing [of] this major figure into the light he deserves." Other Anglo-Saxon rulers like Alfred the Great and Edward the Confessor have historically garnered more attention, but Foot convincingly argues that AEthelstan's incredible achievements-he was the first ruler of a unified England-warrant a reevaluation. Useful chapters cover the king's family, court, church relations, kingdom, war efforts, and death. There are also two valuable appendixes dedicated to primary-source material of this period. It is interesting to read Foot's description of her methodology in creating a biography of a man who-though a king-had little written about him that survives. There are no recent biographies of AEthelstan for comparison. VERDICT A singularly informative biography by an eminent scholar. For all serious readers in the history of tenth-century England.-Brian Renvall, Mesalands Community Coll., Tucumcari, NM (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"[A] compelling new biography....Foot manages to construct a remarkably clear vision of this king who deserves to be more widely known."David Musgrove, BBC History Magazine (Books of the Year)
"[An] outstanding biography....From a wide range of sources....Foot has pieced together a narrative that speaks of the realities of a vanished world.....Foot has amassed and arranged the evidence for AEthelstan life with great skill and flair....a triumph of historiography that celebrates a life rich in spiritual, intellectual and martial endeavor. Revisionary, thoughtful, beautifully written and exhaustively researched, this biography of AEthelstan is set to become a classic."Helen Fulton, Times Higher Education
"[A] definitive and comprehensive study that fully does justice to Æthelstan for the first time."Nicholas Orme, Church Times
"[An] enthralling work of historical detection....In the pages of this remarkable biographya work suffused with a rare empathyAEthelstan emerges as a character of flesh and blood."Hywel Williams, Times Literary Supplement
"[An] enthralling work of historical detection. . . . In the pages of this remarkable biographya work suffused with a rare empathyÆthelstan emerges as a character of flesh and blood."Hywel Williams, Times Literary Supplement
"[An] outstanding biography....From a wide range of sources....Foot has pieced together a narrative that speaks of the realities of a vanished world.....Foot has amassed and arranged the evidence for Æthelstan life with great skill and flair....a triumph of historiography that celebrates a life rich in spiritual, intellectual and martial endeavor. Revisionary, thoughtful, beautifully written and exhaustively researched, this biography of Æthelstan is set to become a classic."Helen Fulton, Times Higher Education
"[A] definitive and comprehensive study that fully does justice to AEthelstan for the first time."Nicholas Orme, Church Times
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, September 2011
Choice, March 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Sarah Foot traces King Athelstan's life through the various spheres in which he lived and worked, beginning with the intimate context of his family, then extending outward to his unusual multi-ethnic royal court, the Church and his kingdom, the wars he conducted, and finally his death and legacy.
Main Description
The powerful and innovative King Æthelstan reigned only briefly (924-939), yet his achievements during those eventful fifteen years changed the course of English history. He won spectacular military victories (most notably at Brunanburh), forged unprecedented political connections across Europe, and succeeded in creating the first unified kingdom of the English. To claim for him the title of "first English monarch" is no exaggeration. In this nuanced portrait of Æthelstan, Sarah Foot offers the first full account of the king ever written. She traces his life through the various spheres in which he lived and worked, beginning with the intimate context of his family, then extending outward to his unusual multiethnic royal court, the Church and his kingdom, the wars he conducted, and finally his death and legacy. Foot describes a sophisticated man who was not only a great military leader but also a worthy king. He governed brilliantly, developed creative ways to project his image as a ruler, and devised strategic marriage treaties and gift exchanges to cement alliances with the leading royal and ducal houses of Europe. Æthelstan's legacy, seen in the new light of this masterful biography, is inextricably connected to the very forging of England and early English identity.
Main Description
The powerful and innovative King AEthelstan reigned only briefly (924-939), yet his achievements during those eventful fifteen years changed the course of English history. He won spectacular military victories (most notably at Brunanburh), forged unprecedented political connections across Europe, and succeeded in creating the first unified kingdom of the English. To claim for him the title of "first English monarch" is no exaggeration. In this nuanced portrait of AEthelstan, Sarah Foot offers the first full account of the king ever written. She traces his life through the various spheres in which he lived and worked, beginning with the intimate context of his family, then extending outward to his unusual multiethnic royal court, the Church and his kingdom, the wars he conducted, and finally his death and legacy. Foot describes a sophisticated man who was not only a great military leader but also a worthy king. He governed brilliantly, developed creative ways to project his image as a ruler, and devised strategic marriage treaties and gift exchanges to cement alliances with the leading royal and ducal houses of Europe. AEthelstan's legacy, seen in the new light of this masterful biography, is inextricably connected to the very forging of England and early English identity.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Sarah Foot traces King Æthelstan's life through the various spheres in which he lived and worked, beginning with the intimate context of his family, then extending outward to his unusual multi-ethnic royal court, the Church and his kingdom, the wars he conducted, and finally his death and legacy.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. viii
Acknowledgementsp. x
Abbreviationsp. xii
Prologue: Writing a Medieval Lifep. 1
English King?p. 10
Familyp. 29
Courtp. 63
Churchp. 94
Kingdomp. 127
Warp. 158
Deathp. 186
British Monarchp. 212
Epilogue: Memory, Oblivion, Commemorationp. 227
Appendicesp. 251
Bibliographyp. 267
Indexp. 277
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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