First published in 1963, this classic exploration of the history of English kings and kingship from the sixth to the twelfth centuries has now been updated for a new generation of readers. A prologue has been added summarizing changes in modern knowledge and underlining the difference between the history of the 'English people', a phrase of the sixth century, and the kingdom of the English, which only came of age in the tenth. An entirely new chapter discusses queens, including St Margaret, who became queen of Scotland. The bibliography has also been completely revised. As in previous editions, one of the books most important features is that it is written from the sources inviting readers to reconstruct the story for themselves by engaging in a series of enquiries into, for example, the nature of king-making, the origins of the English kingdoms, and the meaning of the Bayeux tapestry.
Christopher Brooke is Dixie Professor Emeritus of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Cambridge and a Life Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. His numerous previous publications include From Alfred to Henry III, 871-1272 (1961), Europe in the Central Middle Ages (Third Edition, 2000), The Twelfth Century Renaissance (1969), The Structure of Medieval Society (1971), The Monastic World 1000-1300 (with Wim Swaan, 1974) and The Medieval Idea of Marriage (1989).