Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Deals Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Entertainment Collectibles Shop Now DOTD

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium 1st Edition

159 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0316558402
ISBN-10: 0316558400
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
119 Used from $0.01
More Buying Choices
16 New from $7.65 119 Used from $0.01 9 Collectible from $7.88
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews Review

"August was the month when flies started to become a problem, buzzing round the dung heaps in the corner of every farmyard and hovering over the open cesspits of human refuse that were located outside every house."

Although daily dangers were many, housing uncomfortable, and the dominant smells unpleasant indeed, life in England at the turn of the previous millennium was not at all bad, write journalists Lacey and Danziger. "If you were to meet an Englishman in the year 1000," they continue, "the first thing that would strike you would be how tall he was--very much the size of anyone alive today." The Anglo-Saxons were not only tall, but also generally well fed and healthy, more so than many Britons only a few generations ago. Writing in a breezy, often humorous style, Lacey and Danziger draw on the medieval Julius Work Calendar, a document detailing everyday life around A.D. 1000, to reconstruct the spirit and reality of the era. Light though their touch is, they've done their homework, and they take the reader on a well-documented and enjoyable month-by-month tour through a single year, touching on such matters as religious belief, superstition, medicine, cuisine, agriculture, and politics, as well as contemporary ideas of the self and society. Readers should find the authors' discussions of famine and plague a refreshing break from present-day millennial worries, and a very stimulating introduction to medieval English history. --Gregory McNamee

From Publishers Weekly

Offering a delightful, often astonishing portrait of everyday life in Anglo-Saxon England in the year 1000, this wonderfully earthy chronicle, while timed for the end of this millennium, distinguishes itself from the sea of millennial titles by focusing on the end of the last one. Lacey (Sotheby's?Bidding for Class), a popular British historian, and London-based journalist Danziger (The Orchestra) focus on aspects of daily living. The Anglo-Saxons, a practical, self-contained, fervently superstitious people, were 99% illiterate, yet their language would become their most widespread legacy. Bristol was a slave-trading port, and the use of "bondservants" was a basic underpinning of the rural economy (the Norman invasion of 1066 would replace servitude with feudalism). There was no sugar, but honey was so valued that it became a form of currency. Personal hygiene was almost nonexistent, and most adults died in their 40s. Engla-lond, as the country was called, endured the best and the worst of times, enjoying unmatched prosperity but also falling prey to Viking raids, a menace that King Ethelred (the Unready) exacerbated by paying protection money. The narrative is organized in 12 chapters?one for each month?plus a closing chapter assessing the Anglo-Saxon legacy. Prefacing each chapter is a nimble, remarkably modern-looking, secular drawing of laborers' activities reproduced from the Julius Work Calendar, probably created by a cleric working in Canterbury Cathedral around 1020. This is a superb time capsule, and the authors distill a wealth of historical information into brightly entertaining reading. Agent, Curtis Brown.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company; 1st edition (December 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316558400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316558402
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The Queen - A Life in Brief.

I have been writing about the Queen now for nearly forty years, and this little book is intended to distil and re-shape what I've learned into one pleasant afternoon's reading - a summary of its predecessors Majesty (1977) and Monarch (2002, Royal in the UK), with further research and thoughts on Elizabeth II in the year of her Diamond Jubilee.

'Lege feliciter', as the Venerable Bede used to say - May you read happily!

- Robert Lacey, January 2012 -

Robert Lacey is an historian and biographer whose research has taken him from the Middle East ("The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Saud") to America's Mid-West ("Ford: the Men and the Machine"). "Majesty", his pioneering biography of Queen Elizabeth II, is the definitive study of British monarchy - a subject on which Robert lectures around the world, appearing regularly on ABC's Good Morning America and on CNN's Larry King Live.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Roger McEvilly (the guilty bystander) on March 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a light, easy-to-read, short, informative, witty, and amusing look at life 1000 years ago, in England. If you are a busybody at work or in life, and don't have time for endless volumes of detailed historical analysis, and want something light, short, and to the point, this is the book for you. Take it on a short holiday, read it on the train on the way to work, or just amuse yourself at home with a lighthearted look at life 1000 years ago. You may be surprised at some of the insights outlined here.
For example their diet was very different to ours. No spinach, tomatoe, potatoe, tea, coffee or chicken. Farming life was hard, and overall hygiene was of little importance, as without knowledge of disease subsistence and survival was placed higher on the list than clean dinner plates. Smelly residences were taken as given, as one simply lived with the inconvenience of dung from animals as part of ones daily life. No smoke from cars, or cigarretes, or noise from airplanes and highways, but smelly dung was eveywhere. There were no forks at the table, just knives. If you dropped your food on the floor, you ate it, but one recited a saintly word for the privelage. Clothes were less flamboyant, but coloured by innovative dyes. The queen in chess was of little importance and power, until Queen Elizabeth came around several centuries later. There sorts of details are just a few of the many intriguing bits of information presented in the book.
There is lots more, but you will have to muse over these in that 21st century train, bus, leather lounge, clean-sheeted bed, or by that modern resort swimming pool yourself. Lucky aren't we? Perhaps in another thousand years people will read about these sorts of things in their different lifestyles, think themselves lucky, and be thankful for our memories and contribution. I have no doubt they will.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By M. Brooks on January 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Lacey and Danziger break the year 1000 into twelve chapters, one for each month, and include important events preceding and following that year. The authors then take you back in time to live the life of an anglo-saxon peasant (contrasted with the life of the privileged) on a month-by-month basis. Having read a great deal of English and European history, I found the book well written, accurate (scholarly in its research while almost casual in its style) and placed in such an "every man" perspective as to be an engrossing read. It is a quick read with interesting period illustrations kicking off each chapter/month.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By John H. Tarpley on December 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The book is written by journalists, not historians, and that in itself makes it all the more valuable for the general reader. Alas, too many historians write for other historians, and their prose is so stilted and dry as to be unreadable. But this book is a joy to read. Using the Julius Calendar as a device to introduce us to the everyday life of Anglo-Saxons in England in the years leading up to the first millennium, the authors present us with a perfect picture of what life must have been like on a seasonal basis, from January through December. I highly recommend this book to readers interested in the social history of that period who do not wish to wade through a thousand pages of scholarly boredom.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The authors have written an interesting and timely book. I liked all of the factoids and descriptions they gave about life one thousand years ago in England. Fascinating to see how our ancestors did it (life) facing challenges we have long ago conquored. The organization of the book tends to break up the narrative. It is mildly annoying in places, as are comparisons to current news that will, unfortunately quickly make this book look dated. This situation is caused by the author's using a period calendar as a backdrop to their story and organizing the book around the twelve months of the year and the seasonal activities of the Anglo-Saxons under study.
A quick read and overall enjoyable
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Richard Hawkins on October 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
One of the remarkable things about Anglo-Saxon history is how little we know about it. As the authors of this compact guide to life in England around 1,000A.D. attest, there is at least thirty times more information available about the sexual proclivities of the 42nd President of the United States than about the entire first millenium of English history. Most chronicles were destroyed: firsty by the Normans - who sought to obliterate evidence of the robust native culture - and then during the chaos that followed Henry the Eighth's rejection of the Roman church. This latter orgy of destruction saw the almost complete annihilation of all manuscripts in Englisc, the Anglo-Saxon language from which modern English has descended, and the even greater and inexplicable destruction of virtually all visual art in English churches.

The authors' depiction of life at the end of the first millenium breaks away from many of the Anglo-Saxon stereotypes we hold in our collective unconsciousness. For example, do you think of pre-Norman Englishmen and women as short and malnourished, with rotten teeth? Well actually, their average height was similar to people in England today and they had very good teeth because their diet contained no sugar (sugar cane was imported from the Caribbean some six hundred years later). Although life was short (averaging forty years) and physically hard by today's standards, it had a particular richness, as this passage shows:

"They were practical, self-contained folk, not given to excessive agonizing or self-analysis. They knew how to make and mend, and when their day's work was done, they could also be very good company, since one of the most important things they had learned in their lives was how to entertain themselves.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: free history books england