Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
The coverage of Winston Churchill’s A History of the English-Speaking Peoples begins with the year 55 b.c.e., when the Roman emperor, Julius Caesar, marched his troops westward from Germany to present-day Calais and then set sail across the English Channel to the island then known as Britannia. Britons were subjugated by the Romans for the next century, and after the defeat of Boadicea, most were reconciled to Roman rule. Rome ruled Britannia until the end of the fourth century, with the invasions of the Picts, the Scots, and Saxons. In 410, Emperor Flavius Honorius had urged the Britons to defend themselves against new invaders as the Romans withdrew.
Although Britons had already been Christianized by the second and third centuries, the faith was brought to Ireland and Scotland by Saint Patrick in the fifth century. Saint Augustine reestablished Christianity at Canterbury at the end of the sixth century. Parts of England were ruled during this period by a series of tribal leaders, including Rædwald, king of the East Angles; Edwin of Northumbria; and the Mercian kings, Æthelbald and Offa. During the eighth and ninth centuries, England was beset by Scandinavian invasions. Beginning in 865, the Danes succeeded in establishing military settlements in east and central England, occupying London for a short time.
In 871, Alfred the Great’s troops defeated the Danes in the Battle of Ashdown. This battle...
(The entire section is 1411 words.)
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