Ever since the Norman Conquest, the English have looked back to the Anglo-Saxon era with nostalgia. As a result, the period between 450 and 1066 has always tended to be regarded as a golden age. Its kings were elected and its church was more pristine. Women had better rights than they did later, and people in general enjoyed greater freedom. But how much of this is true, and how much of it is the product of wishful thinking? In this talk, historian Marc Morris examines the history behind these and other claims, sifts the contemporary evidence, and asks whether the reality bears any resemblance to the legend.

This lecture is based on Marc’s latest book The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England.

Dr Marc Morris is a historian who specializes in the Middle Ages. He studied and taught at the universities of London and Oxford and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His other books include a bestselling history of the Norman Conquest and highly acclaimed biographies of King John and Edward I.