Professor Michael D.C. Drout is at his best when lecturing on the fascinating history, language, and societal adaptations of the Anglo-Saxons. He not only presents their storytelling abilities using their own words; he does so in their own voice - the incredibly melodious Old English.
©2009 Michael D.C. Drout; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
This is a truly excellent survey of the Anglo Saxon period by a professor who clearly loves it. His accent is heavy American, which takes some getting used to, but you soon forgive this because he handles the material so expertly.
Treat yourself to some Anglo Saxon history today!
This lecture series has the winning combination of being jam packed with information and being very entertaining at the same time!
I've been quite interested in this topic for a while but knew little to nothing about it. If only Drout had been my history teacher at school! He has a passion for the subject that definitely comes out in the narration. You'll learn a lot not only about the Angles & Saxons, but also how they fit in with other peoples interacting with England like the Danes, Vikings, Celts, Christianity, Paganism, Rome and much more!
Michael Drout is enthusiastic and carries his enjoyment of his subject into his lectures. This is a period I know little about. In school we jumped from the Romans to the Norman Conquest and anything I've tried to pick up since has tended to be quite dry. Here, the narrative flows; although I could have done with this being twice as long to allow me to fill in some of the inevitable gaps as he sped through several hundred years of history and literature. Well worth listening to.
I had previously listened to Professor Drout's lectures on science-fiction, which I had only moderately enjoyed after the lecture reaches the 1970's (see my review for more details). But I did nonetheless get the another set of lectures from Professor Drout because he is such a wonderful lecturer with great delivery and an excellent sense of humour. I was hoping that another, more historical, topic would bring out the best in him, and I was not disappointed. The set of lectures on The Anglo-Saxon World covers Britain from 500 AD until 1066 AD (the norman Conquest) with an excellent additional lecture on how the Anglo-Saxon concepts remained important up to the time of Henry the Eight. The lecture on the decades before 1066 and the lecture on the use of Anglo-Saxon as a political football under Henry the Eight are excellent (and stupendously funny at times). I am not a literature student and I was a bit worried during the introduction as it seemed that the lectures would focus more on literature than history, but my fears were soon calmed. I even enjoyed the 3 lectures on "pure" literature (lectures 9-10-11) because they stressed the psychology of people living in those times. So, even if you are not a literature geek, don't skip those 3 lectures. The only aspect that is supremely annoying in this lecture set is that each lecture begins with a long section where Professor Drout reads an excerpt in Anglo-Saxon which probably only 100 persons on Earth understand. These readings are followed by the English translation but they got really irritating, mostly as I am guessing that no one really know how Anglo-Saxon sounded, so were are not learning much from Professor Drout's attempts. Still, a minor quibble. Heartily recommended.
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