Monday, July 21, 2008

Can anyone suggest...

if one were interested in learning more about very early Christian history in Britain and Ireland, whom to read? Apart, that is, from the likes of Bede. Any good modern scholars of the period from AD 400 to 900 or so?

5 comments:

Rosalind Phillips said...

I'm about to read Fr Conrad Pepler's work on The English Religious Heritage - mainly on mediaeval Christianity. But he refers to Dom Louis Gougaud: 'Christianity in Celtic Lands' and names this a classic work on the subject.

Robert B. said...

Christopher Dawson is a good read and has plenty to say about Britain and Ireland in his histories of medieval Western Europe.

DF said...

You could try "The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England" by Henry Mayr-Harting. Covers 597-750.

Dale said...

Sir Frank Stenton's Anglo-Saxon England is probably dated, I found it a good overall history of England from the Adventus Saxonum until Hastings. Also, a good copy of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle and Asser's Life of Alfred are must-haves. An obscure but interesting work is Gildas' "On the Ruin of Britain," written by a British monk who excoriated the Celtic leaders of the early Sixth Century. Almost infuriating in a way because he hints at a lot of the history without addressing it. Instead, he rips the current leadership up one side and down another.

Be advised, though, that you are not going to find much for the period of 400-600 for Britain. Britannia was the Roman province where the Dark Age fell darkest, and trying to piece anything coherent together has frustrated historians for generations. Barring major archaelogical finds, it will probably stay that way.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Thanks guys. I knew y'all would come through.