Books : reviews

Robin Fleming.
Britain After Rome: the fall and rise 400 to 1070.
Pengiun. 2010

What was Britain like in the Dark Ages? Who walked across the landscape we now inhabit? Do objects such as those found in the Staffordshire hoard reveal a society far more sophisticated, wealthy and militarized than we had previously imagined?

Britain after Rome stitches together a wealth of research and imaginative engagement to bring us as close as we can hope to get to the tumultuous centuries between the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West and the arrival of the Normans nearly seven centuries later. Robin Fleming depicts a country whose towns were abandoned, where Christianity had disappeared, and where immigrants and invaders came to settle. Yet it is also the world in which many of today’s villages were founded, and Britain’s vernacular languages and political arrangements were forged.

Britain after Rome offers tantalizing glimpses of the surprising and resilient peoples who remade Britain in the centuries after Rome’s demise. It allows its readers to see Britain’s history in a quite new light.