From the bestselling author of Viking Britain, a new epic history of our forgotten past.
As Tolkien knew, Britain in the ‘Dark Ages’ was an untidy mosaic of kingdoms. Some – like Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria and Gwynedd – have come to dominate understandings of the centuries that followed the collapse of Roman rule. Others, however, have been left to languish in a half-light¸ forgotten kingdoms who followed unique trajectories before they flamed out or faded away. But they too have stories to be told: of saints and gods and miracles, of giants and battles and the ruin of cities. This is a book about those lands and peoples who fell by the wayside: the lost realms of early medieval Britain.
In Lost Realms, Thomas Williams, bestselling author of Viking Britain, focuses on nine kingdoms representing every corner of the island of Britain. From the Scottish Highlands to the Cornish coastline, from the Welsh borders to the Thames Estuary, this book uncovers the forgotten life and untimely demise of realms that hover in the twilight between history and fable.
ELMET. HWICCE. LINDSEY. DUMNONIA. ESSEX. RHEGED. POWYS. SUSSEX. FORTRIU. The grave-fields and barrow-mounds of these shadowed lands give up the bodies of farmers, warlords and queens, a scattering of their names preserved on weathered stone and brittle parchment. Their halls remain as ghost-marks in the earth, their hill-forts clinging to rocky outcrops. This is the world of Arthur and Urien, of Picts and Britons and Saxon migrations, of magic and war, myth and miracle.
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