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The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; The Greater Chronicle; Bede's Letter to Egbert (Oxford World's Classics) 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199537235
ISBN-10: 0199537232
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"[A] very useful, practical edition."--Glenn Olsen, University of Utah


"One of the first great works of English literature....This new edition is based on the standard scholarly text, comes replete with notes by its editors...and includes two shorter works, "The Greater Chronicle" and the "Letter to Egbert"....This book offers anecdote, philosophical observation, and even charm."--The Washington Post


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199537232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199537235
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Kindle edition of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People from the Oxford University Press publication is disappointing. There are no chapter breaks, nor section breaks. The map is so small that it is impossible to see. When I tried to enlarge it, it only enlarged about 1mm. So, I still could not see it. Flipping back to the notes at the back of the book was almost impossible. I would recommend that readers get a traditional book for this item.
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Format: Paperback
What is it about this book that makes it so fascinating and has made it enduringly popular ever since it was first written? I'm not sure. It must have some kind of magical qualities to it. I can only speak for myself - it chronicles the origin of the language and culture that I am part of and live in - English. Actually, it is the only book that does this with any reliability. Bede is the only substantial source for early (pre-8th Century) England - i.e. England, not Britain - in other words, the English and not the British (i.e. Welsh, Cornish, etc.) The die of English culture and language was cast in the "Dark" Ages that have only Bede as their historian (unless you want to give a nod to the British rhetorician Gildas.) It is utterly fascinating to me, and has been to partakers of English civilization all through the years, as to where the English come from and where the pillars of our civilization, character and customs come from. (By English, I include all English-speaking lands, like Canada, NZ, etc.) In spite of there having always been and there always will be doubt and dispute over the origins of the English, there is only one reliable witness, and he is Bede. So, what does he say about our origins? What he himself says is much more rich and refined than what we often come across in the modern history books. I think, given that the English were predominately an oral culture, and there having been only 300 years between the Anglo-Saxon (etc) invasion and the time of Bede's writing, that the main outlines of the event were most definitely well remembered. Just think about the colonization of the United States for a minute. Do you really think that if there were no writing until around 1800 that the colonists would have forgotten how their ancestors came to America, or from where?Read more ›
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There are striking similarities between Bede's era (mid 700's) and our own. You would have figured that our "advanced" society would have learned from the past and not be caught up in a never ending repeat of past problems. Any number of passages in this book could be inserted as a lead story in a TV or newspaper report and I suspect no one would know the difference. If the New York Times was being published in the year 731, Bede would have been on the "Best Seller" list.
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Awesome reference work. Some works of history are all we have today to use as puzzle pieces of what went on in the past and, of course, Bede is always there as a possible piece. We have to rely on these works because they were there in the past as "eye witnesses". A library must have.
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Ideal read for anyone interested in History. Bede writes for religious reasons but the book also gives a first hand account of life in medieval times. Starting from the arrival of the Romans and describes the society and culture and obviously the religious development of Britain.
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Written in the midst of the 'Dark ages' by a monk of Jarrow monastery, in the modern country of Northumberland, England, this book is more than a historical text, it is the story of a people, and their embryonic nation.
From the invasion of Julius Ceasar to his own time Bede tells the story of Britain in his own words.

Focusing upon the coming of the Saxons, and their conversion to the Catholic religion under Augustine, Bede's voice permeates this text. Sometimes praising the warrior Kings of Legend and history, passionately recording the conversion of his countrymen, or pouring scorn upon the 'Britons', it is an authentically human account.
Though his methodology and the didactic purpose of his writing would be frowned upon by modern Historians, Bede's belief in the importance of verifying accounts, and gleaning as much information as he could from eyewitnesses (or people who had known eyewitnesses) shows that Bede was no amateur and his epithet `the father of English history' is perhaps well deserved.

The nature of Bede's contacts and some of his sources of information shed a fascinating light on the cosmopolitan nature of Medieval monasteries - how else could a monk of in a remote corner of Northern England have known about an the Islamic invasions of North Africa and Spain happening thousands of miles away?

The one time mayor of London Ken Livingstone is said to have criticized Bede because Bede for not mentioning King Arthur and ignoring 'our pagan past' (one could ask, what else would you expect from a Catholic Monk?).
Others in recent years have condemned the history because of Bede's bias against the Britons and other.
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This is an excellent very readable book and better than I had hoped to find. I would have bought it for my Kindle if it was available.
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