In their 500 year sojourn, the Anglo-Saxons gave their name to the country, created the basis of the language known as English, firmly wedded Britain to the Universal Church and were one of the greatest missionary forces in Europe. They had the first British historian, Bede, and the two greatest of British rulers. They laid the foundations to the nation state and organised an administration capable of ruling it.
Their greatest contributions though are ones which are easy to overlook. They cleared the forests, eliminated most of the wild beasts and invented the most typically British institution of all, the village. They also played a vital role in the development of the navy. Considering the level they started from, and the challenges they had to face, perhaps their achievement was more remarkable than either that of their Roman predecessors or their medieval successors.
Dr O’Farrell has been lecturing for U3A International on the subject of British History for more than 13 years. He has previously taught at the University of California (from where he graduated),University of S. Carolina,University of London and Regent’s University. His main research interest is Tudor-Stuart Britain. He published in 2011 Shakespeare’s Patron, William Herbert, Third Earl of Pembroke, 1580-1630. Recently also published an article on Shakespeare in the Globe magazine. Each session affords opportunity for questions and answers.
Read some of Brian’s more recent work HERE