Format Hardcover
Publication Date 08/07/18
ISBN 9781681777979
Trim Size / Pages 9 x 6 in / 512

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The Viking Wars

War and Peace in King Alfred's Britain: 789?955

Max Adams

A history of Britain in the violent and unruly era between the first Scandinavian raids in 789 and the final expulsion of the Vikings from York in 954.

In 865, a great Viking army landed in East Anglia, precipitating a series of wars that would last until the middle of the following century. It was in this time of crisis that the modern kingdoms of Britain were born. In their responses to the Viking threat, these kingdoms forged their identities as hybrid cultures: vibrant and entrepreneurial peoples adapting to instability and opportunity. Traditionally, Alfred the Great is cast as the central player in the story of Viking Age Britain. But Max Adams, while stressing the genius of Alfred as war leader, law-giver, and forger of the English nation, has a more nuanced narrative approach to this conventional version of history. The Britain encountered by the Scandinavians of the ninth and tenth centuries was one of regional diversity and self-conscious cultural identities, depicted in glorious narrative fashion in The Viking Wars.

Max Adams is the author of Admiral Collingwood, The Prometheans, and The King in the North, all published in Great Britain. This is his first book to be published in the United States. A university professor, Max lives in the northeast of England.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“This is much more than a book about the Vikings versus King Alfred. Adams’s great achievement is to cover events throughout the whole of Britain with some excursions into Ireland and Europe as well.” The Times Literary Supplement
“This is a beautifully crafted and impeccably compiled book, and one that is certainly a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in the events and figures that molded Britain during the reign of the Vikings.” All About History
“In some ways like Thoreau’s Walden, In the Land of Giants touches many bases. Adams has the uncanny ability to invoke and revive the past. In the end, what we get from this unusual book is a stereoscopic view of today’s landscape made affecting and somehow more real.” Providence Journal [Praise for In the Land of Giants]
“This richly detailed journey reminds readers that the medieval Dark Ages actually shone with creative human energies rivaling those of our own era. A distant age evoked with the thrill of fresh rediscovery.” Booklist (starred) [Praise for In the Land of Giants]
“The author’s act of retracing these paths breathes life back into the sites and people from hundreds of years ago, and for that experience alone, it is a worthy book. Myth and ancient magic meet with solid historical ground in Adams’ voyage through a largely forgotten age.” Kirkus Reviews [Praise for In the Land of Giants]