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The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century


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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Unification of the English? 1: The Geographical Extension of Cerdicing Domination 2: The Cerdicings and their Greater Subordinates from the Late Ninth to the Mid-Tenth Century 3: The Cerdicings and the General Populace from the Late Ninth to the Mid-Tenth Century 4: Administrative Change in the Mid- to Late Tenth Century 5: The Implications of Administrative Change Conclusion: The Formation of the English Kingdom and the "Anglo-Saxon State" Bibliography

About the Author

George Molyneaux was born in Edinburgh and grew up in Aberdeen. He studied History at Christ Church, Oxford, coming top in the university in both his Preliminary and Final examinations. He was then elected to an Examination ('Prize') Fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, where he researched and wrote the present book. He has also published articles in the English Historical Review, the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Early Medieval Europe, and Anglo-Saxon England, receiving the Royal Historical Society's Alexander Prize for his article on the Old English Bede (English Historical Review, 2009). He is now a barrister at Blackstone Chambers in London, and remains a Fellow of All Souls College.


This is a seriously impressive piece of scholarship that creates a framework through which we can perceive something of the tenth century's extensive administrative developments, the rationale that underpinned them, and the extraordinary far-reaching consequences they would have. It re-emphasizes the sophistication of late Anglo-Saxon government, and how very strong its interaction was with localities and the individual. In doing so, it reveals much about how England began. * Alex Burghart, The Times Literary Supplement *
This interesting and thought-provoking book is an important addition to the many recent publications devoted to the history of what is conventionally called late Anglo-Saxon England. It is also an effective critical commentary on the historiography as it has developed over the last half-century ... George Molyneaux has written a book that opens up wider perspectives on England's and Europe's history and is to be congratulated for doing so. * David Bates, History *
George Molyneaux's exciting new book is the most comprehensive rethinking of the tenth century in England for a generation. All Anglo-Saxonists will have to read this book, but so will anyone interested in the development of medieval political power in general. * Chris Wickham, author of Medieval Rome *
The Formation of the English Kingdom presents a meticulously researched and logically argued thesis. Molyneaux draws upon a broad corpus of information in his analysis, offering nuanced examinations of the evidence while acknowledging gaps and silences in the sources. * Dr Nicole Marafioti, Reviews in History *
The Formation of the English Kingdom is an impressive and significant book; significant for the argument it presents that Edgar's reign was central in bringing the kingdom together administratively and ideologically, and significant for its integration of coinage with other sources ... relatively few historians have dealt with coinage as directly or subtly as Molyneaux. * Rory Naismith, Numismatic Chronicle *
Molyneaux's assault on the established position is as systematic and thorough as one could wish * Alex Woolf, The Scottish Historical Review *
Molyneaux's work makes a major contribution to Anglo-Saxon history ... This is a pioneering book and it deserves to be widely read by academics and students looking to understand political power in early medieval Europe. * Andrew Wareham, Journal of British Studies *
Molyneaux has assembled a convincing argument that meticulously justifies the maximalist view of early English royal administration, accounting both for the circumstances of its formation and the limits of its reach. This is a volume that scholars will be returning to (and arguing with) for years to come. * Andrew Rabin, The Medieval Review *
Molyneaux's rich study of tenth-century England is among the most important monographs on the subject to have appeared in decades. Its thesis is meticulously argued, based on profound knowledge of all the critical sources and scholarship. * Journal of Ecclesiastical History *
Molyneaux has done an excellent job of revealing the mechanisms of the Cerdicings' power, even where the sources are fragmentary * Gernot R. Wieland, Historische Zeitschrift [translated] *
a clear and learned guide to developments in the tenth-century ... George Molyneaux is to be congratulated for his stimulating contribution to the debate * Barbara Yorke, Early Medieval Europe *
detailed and readable accounts that help to contextualise Oxfordshire in the later Anglo-Saxon period. * Stuart Brookes, Oxoniensia *
Molyneaux's reading of the emergence of 'England' opens the mind to new possibilities and new interpretations - which is surely the mark of good history. * Ann Williams, American Historical Review *

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