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Head of Zeus
The First Kingdom
The First Kingdom: Britain in the age of Arthur Max Adams

The bestselling author of The King in the North turns his attention to the obscure era of British history known as 'the age of Arthur'.

Somewhere in the dim void between the departure from Britain of the Roman legions at the start of the fifth century and the days of the venerable Bede, the kingdoms of Early Medieval Britain were formed. But by whom? And out of what?

Max Adams scrutinizes the narrative handed down to us by later historians and chronicles, stripping away the most lurid nonsense about Arthur and synthesizing the research of the last forty years to tease out strands of reality from myth. His central theme evolves from an apparently simple question: how, after the end of the Roman state, were people taxed? Rejecting ethnic and nationalist explanations for the emergence of the Early Medieval kingdoms, Adams shows how careful use of a wide range of perspectives from anthropology to geography can deliver a picture of the emergence of distinct polities in the sixth century that survive long enough to be embedded in the medieval landscape, recorded in the lines of river, road and watershed and in place names.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Medieval History
04 Feb 2021 * 480pp * £8.99 * 9781788543460
REVIEWS
PRAISE FOR MAX ADAMS:

'A triumph. The most gripping portrait of 7th-century Britain that I have read' Tom Holland, on The King in the North.

'Essential reading for all those interested in late Anglo-Saxon Britain' History Today, on Aelfred's Britain.

'A beautifully written archae-travelogue' TLS, on In the Land of Giants.
Author
Max Adams
Max Adams
Max Adams is the author of The Wisdom of Trees, The Little Book of Planting Trees and the bestselling The King in the North. A teacher of woodland tree histories, he manages an area of woodland in County Durham, where he has lived and worked in the North-East of England since 1993. www.theambulist.co.uk
ALSO BY Max Adams
Aelfred's Britain
The King in the North
The Wisdom of Trees
Admiral Collingwood: Nelson's Own Hero
In the Land of Giants
Unquiet Women
The Little Book of Planting Trees
Trees of Life
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Realm Divided
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The First Kingdom