Research Materials and Further Reading

This page is currently being revamped to feature a bibliography of the podcast. It isn’t fully comprehensive (primarily, because there are a bunch of articles that I’ve read throughout the years and I can’t remember them all) but hopefully it will give you a rough idea of what I’ve used when putting the show together. Furthermore, this is mostly reverse engineered and it’s been 5 years since I did the first season, so I will be adding in books and articles that I’ve used as I remember them.

A word of caution, though. Some of these books were read specifically to get an idea of older and alternate points of view that are largely disfavored. As with anything else, read with a critical eye.

This will be updated regularly.

Primary sources

Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II Tacitus, 2010 HardPress Publishing
Agricola and Germania (Penguin Classics) 2010 Penguin Classics
Caesar: The Gallic War (Loeb Classical Library) Caesar, 1917 Harvard University Press
Liber querulus de excidio Britanniae. English Gildas, 2011 Amazon Digital Services
History of the Britons (Historia Brittonum) Nennius
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1998 Routledge
The Chronicle of Aethelweard 1962
The History of the Kings of Britain (Penguin Classics) Geoffrey of Monmouth
Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica The Venerable Bede, 2004 Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers
Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile: Bald’s Leechbook v. 5
Alfred the Great: Asser’s Life of King Alfred & Other Contemporary Sources (Penguin Classics) 1984 Penguin Classics
English Historical Documents 500-1041 (English Historical Documents, 500-1042) (Vol 1)
English Historical Documents 1042-1189, Volume II
English Historical Documents: Volume 3 1189-1327
English Historical Documents, Vol. 4, 1327-1485
The History of the English People 1000-1154 (Oxford World’s Classics)
William of Malmesbury’s Chronicle of the Kings of England From the Earliest Period to the Reign of King Stephen

Pre-Roman Britain

History of the Celtic People Henri Hubert 1992 Bracken Books: London
Celtic Myths and Legends Peter Berresford Ellis 1999, Running Press: London

Roman Britain

Roman Britain (Oxford History of England) Peter Salway
An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire David Mattingly
Roman Britain: A New History Guy De La Bedoyere 2010Thames and Hudson: New York
Britannia A History Of Roman Britain: A History Of England Sheppard Frere 1967

Post-Roman Britain

The World of Bede Peter Hunter Blair 1990 Cambridge University Press
Britain After Rome: The Fall and Rise, 400 to 1070 Robin Fleming 2011 Penguin Books: London
After Rome (Short Oxford History of the British Isles) Thomas Charles-Edwards 2003 Oxford University Press
The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000 (The Penguin History of Europe)
Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages
St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography

Anglo-Saxon Britain

Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England Barbara Yorke, Rutledge 1997
The Anglo-Saxon World Nicholas J. Higham and Martin J. Ryan 2013 Yale University Press
The English Warrior from the Earliest Times Till 1066 by Stephen Pollington (18-Nov-2006) Hardcover 1996 Anglo-Saxon Books: Norfolk
The Anglo-Saxon State James Campbell 2000 Hambeldon and London
The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial Angela Care Evans 1989 British Museum Press
The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Lindsey: The Archaeology of an Anglo-Saxon Kingdom Kevin Leahy 2012 The History Press
Mercia: An Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in Europe (Continuum Collection) Michelle P. Brown and Carol A. Farr 2001 Continuum
The Birth of the English Common Law (Cambridge Paperback Library) 2nd (second) Edition by Caenegem, R. C. van [1988] 1988 Cambridge University Press
An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England Peter Hunter Blair 2003 Cambridge University Press
Offa’s Dyke: History & Guide David Hill and Margaret Worthington 2003 The History Press
Essays in Anglo-Saxon History James Campbell 1986 The Hambledon Press: London
The Anglo-Saxons James Campbell 1982 Penguin Books
The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England Edited by Michael Lapidge, John Blair, Simon Keynes, and Donald Scragg 1999 Blackwell Publishing
The Age of Sutton Hoo Martin Carver 1992 Boydell
Treasures from Sutton Hoo Gareth Williams 2011 British Museum Press
The Earliest English Kings D.P. Kirby 1991 Unwin Hyman Ltd.
Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford History of England) Frank Stenton 1943 Oxford University Press
Lost Gold of the Dark Ages: War, Treasure, and the Mystery of the Saxons Caroline Alexander 2011 National geographic Society
Aethelstan: The First King of England (The English Monarchs Series)
Edward the Elder: 899-924 Higham and Hill 2001 Routledge
A Companion to the Early Middle Ages: Britain and Ireland c.500 – 1100 Pauline Stafford (2009) Blackwell
Women in England in the Middle Ages Jennifer Ward (2006) Carnegie Publishing
Aethelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King Ann Williams (2003) Hambledon and London

Anglo-Saxon Culture


Anthimus: On the Observance of Foods Edited and Translated by Mark Grant 2007 Prospect Books
A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food: Processing and Consumption Ann Hagen 1992 Anglo-Saxon Books
A Second Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food & Drink: Production and Distribution 1995 Ann Hagen Anglo-Saxon Books
Tastes of Anglo-Saxon England Mary Savelli 2002 Anglo-Saxon Books


Anglo-Saxon Medicine (Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England) M.L. Cameron 1993 Cambridge University Press

    Technology and Daily Life

The Middle Ages Morris Bishop 1968 Houghton Miffler Company
The Medieval Housewife: & Other Women of the Middle Ages Toni Mount 2014 Amberley
The Mead-Hall: The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England Stephen Pollington 2003 Anglo-Saxon Books
Daily Life in the Middle Ages
Acquiring, flaunting and destroying silk in late Anglo-Saxon England. Fleming, R. (2007) Early Medieval Europe, 15(2), 127–158.
Hwaer Cwom Mearh? The Horse in Anglo-Saxon England. Keefer, S. L. (1996). Journal of Medieval History, 22(2), 115–132.
The transformation of kinship and the family in late Anglo-Saxon England. Wareham, A. (2001). Early Medieval Europe, 10(17), 375–399.
Social Identity in Early Medieval Britain, William O. Frazer, Andrew Tyrell (2000) Leicester University Press
Anglo-Saxon Perceptions of the Islamic World (Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England) Katherine Beckett (2003) Cambridge University Press
Hybridity, Identity, and Monstrosity in Medieval Britain: On Difficult Middles (The New Middle Ages) Jeffrey Cohen (2007) Palgrave Macmillan.
Unification and Conquest: A Political and Social History of England in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries (Hodder Arnold Publication)

Viking Age

Viking Age England Julian D. Richards 2007 The History Press: Gloustershire
The Age of the Vikings Anders Winroth 2014 Princeton University Press
The Vikings: Culture and Conquest Martin Arnold 2006 Hambledon Continuum: London
From the Vikings to the Normans (Short Oxford History of the British Isles) Wendy Davies 2003 Oxford University Press
The Vikings: A New History New Oliver 2014 Pegasus Books: New York
The Vikings: Revised Edition Else Roesdahl 1998 Penguin Books
The Viking World James Graham-Campbell 2013 Frances Lincoln Limited
The Viking World (Routledge Worlds) Stefan Brink 2011 Rutledge
The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings (Hist Atlas) John Haywood 1995 Penguin Books
Vikings: Fear and Faith Paul Cavill 2001 Zondervan
The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium, An Englishman’s World Robert Lacey and Danny Danzinger 1999 Back Bay Books
Alfred the Great: War, Kingship and Culture in Anglo-Saxon England Richard Abels 1998 Pearson Education Limited: Harlow
Alfred the Great Justin Pollard 2005 John Murray: London
The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great Benjamin Merkle 2009 Thomas Nelson: Nashville
Rudiments of Runelore Stephen Pollington 2011 Anglo Saxon Books
Viking Age: Everyday Life During the Extraordinary Era of the Norsemen Kirsten Wolf 2004 Stirling: New York
The Vikings in England: Settlement, Society and Culture (Manchester Medieval Studies MUP) DM Hadley, 2006 Manchester University Press


Age of the Picts W. A Cummins 1995, Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd. : Phoenix Mill
Scotland: The Story of a Nation Magnus Magnussen 2000 Grove Press: New York
Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland Before History Alistair Moffat 2005 Thames and Hudson: New York
The Scots: A Genetic Journey Alistair Moffat 2012 Birlinn Ltd
Scotland: A History from Earliest Times Alistair Moffat 2016 Birlinn Ltd
The Faded Map: Lost Kingdoms of Scotland Alistair Moffat 2011 Birlinn Ltd
The Sea Kingdoms: The History of Celtic Britain and Ireland Alistair Moffat 2011 Birlinn Ltd
SCOTLAND: A NEW HISTORY Michael Lynch 1992 Pimlico: London
How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It Arthur Herman 2001 Three Rivers Press: New York


The Matter of Wales: Epic Views of a Small Country Jan Morris 1984 Oxford University Press
A History of Wales John Davies 1993 Penguin Books : London
Wales and the Britons, 350-1064 (History of Wales) T. M. Charles-Edwards 2014 Oxford University Press

General Interest

The British Isles: A History of Four Nations (Canto Classics) (Second Ed.) Hugh Kearney 2006 Cambridge University Press
The Isles: A History Norman Davies 1999 Oxford University Press
A French sociologist looks at Britain: Gustave d’Eichthal and British society in 1828 (Publications of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Manchester ; no. 22) Gustave d’Eichtahal and British Society in 1828 Translated and edited by Barrie M Ratcliffe and W. H. Charloner 1977 Manchester University Press
British Kings and Queens Mike Ashley 1998 Carroll & Graf Publishers: New York
Stations Of The Sun
Medieval Pets Kathleen Walker-Meikle 2012 The Boydell Press
1415 Agincourt: A New History Anne Curry 2005 The History Press
Blood and Roses: One Family’s Struggle and Triumph During the Tumultuous Wars of the Roses Helen Castor 2006 Harper Perennial
The Wars of the Roses: The bloody rivalry for the throne of England Desmond Seward 1995 Carroll and Graf
Love in the Time of Victoria: Sexuality and Desire Among Working-Class Men and Women in 19th Century London Francoise Barret-Ducrocq, Translated by John Howe 1991 Penguin Books
1215: The Year of Magna Carta Danny Danzinger & John Gillingham 2003 Coronet
King John (Yale English Monarchs Series) 1961 University of California Press
The Weaker Vessel: Women’s Lot in Seventeenth-Century England Part One Antonia Fraser 1984
The Weaker Vessel : Woman’s Lot in Seventeenth Century England Part Two Antonia Fraser 1984
Richard II: Manhood, Youth, and Politics 1377-99 (Oxford Historical Monographs) Christopher Fletcher 2008 Oxford University Press
Britain’s Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (updated) Alison Weir 1996 Pimlico
Edward III (The English Monarchs Series)
A History of the English Speaking Peoples (4 Volume Set)

Articles (very VERY incomplete)

The Council of Whitby: a study in early Anglo-Saxon politics. Abels, R. (1983). The Journal of British Studies, 23(1), 1–25.
The Politics of Succession in Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon England.Biggs, F. M. (2005). Speculum, 80(3), 709–741.
Anglo-Saxon charters: the work of the last twenty years. Brooks, N. (1974).Anglo-Saxon England, 3(September 2008), 211–231.
Why that, Why there, Why then? The politics of early medieval monumentality. Carver, M. (2001).Image and Power in the Archaeology of Early Medieval Britain, 1–22.
The Bishop as Benefactor and Civic Patron: Alcuin, York, and Episcopal Authority in Anglo-saxon England. Coates, S. (1996). Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, 529–558.
The Ætheling: A Study of Anglo-Saxon Constitutional History. Dumville, D. N. (1979). Anglo-Saxon England, 8(September 2008), 1–33.
The Making of Angelcynn: English Identity before the Norman Conquest.Foot, S. (1996). Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6(1996), 25–49.
Popular Revolt , Dynastic Politics , in Factionalism and Aristocratic the Early Middle Ages : The Saxon Stellinga Reconsidered.Goldberg, E. J. (12443). Speculum, 70(3), 467–501.
The Past and Present Society Politics and Property in Early Medieval England *Holt, A. J. C. (2014)., 57(57), 3–52.
Edgar the Ætheling: Anglo-Saxon prince, rebel and crusader. Hooper, N. (1985). Anglo-Saxon England, 14(September 2008), 197–214.
The “Three Orders” of society in Anglo-Saxon England. Powell, T. E., Brown, E. A. R., Dubuisson, D., & Nelson, J. L. (1994). Anglo-Saxon England (Vol. 23).
. WILFRID ’ S ’ USURPING BISHOPS ’: Wilfridi, V., Colgrave, B., Life, T., & Cambridge, W. (1988) EPISCOP A . L ELECTIONS IN ANGLO-SAXON, 42–49.
A handlist of Anglo-Saxon lawsuits. Wormald, P. (1988). Anglo-Saxon England (Vol. 17).
Engla Lond: The Making of an Allegiance. Wormald, P. (2009). Twenty Years of the Journal of Historical Sociology, 1(1), 113–137.
Woman’s Milk in Anglo-Saxon and Later Medieval Medical Texts, R.A. Buck 2001, Springer Science
Transvestites in the Middle Ages, Vern Bullough (1974), American Journal of Sociology, Vol 79, No 6, pp 1381-1394
The Meaning of Traditions and Legends in Early Medieval Western Britain, Harvey and Jones (1999), Geografiska Annaler, Vol 81, No 4, pp 223-233.
Memory, Weaponry, and early medieval mortuary technologies, Howard Williams (2005), Journal of Social Archaeology, Vol 5, pp 253.


  1. Churchill’s books are really good reads. What an amazing guy he was to accomplish so much and have the time to produce so much good writing.

  2. Jamie, just a heads up here: People who use ad blocking software can’t see that list of books. You might want to list their titles and authors in the body of your text. (Or, everyone could do like I just did and open — blech — Internet Explorer to look at them!)

    I’ve added the Britain BC book to my Amazon wish list, and I have Churchill on my list of books to check out the next time I go to the library. Thanks!

    /nancy g, via Firefox

    1. Francis Pryor is a lot of fun to read. He loves his work so much that simply reading his books is infectious.

      And thanks for the heads up on the site issues. I’ll do a redesign once I finally get my computer issues taken care of and get the next episode recorded. :)

  3. If you are interested in the War of the Roses, you might enjoy “The Women of the Cousins’ War: The Duchess, the Queen and the King’s Mother,” by Phillipa Gregory. Her intro, a discussion of the difference between history and historical fiction, is fascinating, and I think you’ll agree with her analysis. The rest of the book are three brief biographies of the three women who are the title characters of her most recent novels: Jacquetta of Luxembourg (The Lady of the Rivers), Elizabeth Woodville (The White Queen), and Margaret Beaufort (The Red Queen). All had a role to play in the events of that period, and it’s a very interesting.

    1. She turned it into a great BBC TV documentary series too, I think. Not sure if you can get it Stateside though …

    2. Ooh thanks for the recommendation Julie . My wife loves all the Philippa Gregory books, so I know what I’ll be getting her for Xmas now. Something a little different for her but she loves all the British Royalty history so it’ll be perfect. Thx

  4. I see you have several options as to the monthly support of your podcast. Depending on the monthly subscription, do subscribers get more podcast if they chose a higher subscription rate?

    1. I put together a member’s only podcast to thank the member’s for their support, but all members get the same podcast. It just comes down to what you’re willing and able to contribute. Thanks for listening!

  5. Thomas Cahill’s
    How the Irish saved Christianity.
    I found it very intresting it talks alot about the dark ages. It not British history but it close.
    Hope you get a chance to read it. From A Son of Erin

  6. are you familiar with Nigel Tranter’s books, his life’s work covers the history of Scotland, Historical fiction genre. great story telling about the heroes and heroine’s of the past and vivd descriptions of the landscape. i’d recommend ‘The Isleman’ as a starter

  7. Peter Ackroyd”s 2011 book Foundation: The History of England from its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors is an easy read, and I thought a really good overview of this whole period. I enjoyed many aha moments – Jamie talked about that in much more detail! His next book covers the Tudors.

  8. It’s going to be years before you get round to this on the podcast, but when I read your bumper sticker (“Historians Are Gossips Who Tease The Dead”) it reminded me of the best historian I have ever read – and the man who changed the face of biography: Lytton Strachey. The man is the wisest and most irreverent story teller, an exploder of myths and also part of the Bloomsbury Set which means he got to hang around with Virginia Woolf & a lot of other cool dudes. His “Elizabeth & Essex” is a fabulous dissection of the relationship (or not!) between Elizabeth I and the Earl Of Essex; and “Eminent Victorians” latches on to the real story of four prominent famous 19th century men & women (including Florence Nightingale – be warned) who really weren’t all they were stacked up to be, but that would take the rest of the world another 50 years to realise it. You might particularly want to check that one out, knowing how you love the Victorians the way you do …

  9. Hey Jamie. Happy Holidays to you and your family….

    Was wondering what your opinion, if any, of the Bernard Cornwell books was. As I mentioned in an earlier comment I’m a big fan of the Last Kingdom BBC series. Discovered the Cornwell books, of which Last Kingdom is the first in his Saxon Tales saga, and they look quite good and are well reviewed. When I’m next in need of some reading/listening material I’m going to give them a try. The Arthur and Merlin series look particularly worth a look.

    Have you any experience with this author? Historically speaking do you know where does he sit on the accuracy meter.


    1. I just read the Last Kingdom by Cornwell and really liked it. It was perfect that I was listening to the podcasts about Alfred while reading the book so it was a fun balance. I would highly suggest it!

      1. Thanks for this Andrea, I wondered if these books had credibility – sounds really interesting! I heard there is also a series based on this book? Margaret

    2. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who enjoys these novels, they’re kind of extras to the podcast, adding some great colour and ‘flavour’ to the era Jamie discusses. I’ve just finished ‘The Flame Bearer’ (the first I’ve read, actually) and he does go to some pains to make it clear that the events are not historical. However, the actions, morals and conflicts depicted do seem to dovetail very neatly with what the BHP suggests so I’m inclined to think that he researches at least as thoroughly as Jamie. Quality read, however he does it.


  10. I agree, the Cornwell books dovetail nicely with the BHP coverage. While there is artistic license I feel it adds depth and color to the overall flavour. The BBC series is brilliant. One of our favourites. It crosses territory with History’s Vikings show so it can get confusing at t8mes with which show we are watching. Maybe Jamie will poo poo the show likehe does with Vigings but we love em. It seems to take a couple of years to produce a new season so I do hope The Beeb doesn’t pull the plug on the show before all 7 books are covered

    1. So long after you guys posted! I got into the BHP because I couldn’t sleep one night and Googled things to listen to help sleep. Someone on Reddit said the BHP. Started listening and found out it didn’t help sleep, it just reminded me of Cornwell books. Historical fiction is great and no one does it better then Cornwell!

  11. Hey Jamie,

    I am a Member BUT I have yet to locate the Rough Transcripts of the Podcasts…:-(
    I am trying to access them on my computer. What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks in advance….


    1. Hi Linda, if you look at any of the episodes you should see the transcript. A full list of all episodes is here. Just click the episode you want to view, and then click the title in the player.

      Alternatively, you can click “transcript” on the episodes listed on the player on the main page of the site. Just scroll down, and you should see season seven and a bunch of transcripts listed. And then, beneath that, links to the other seasons as well. :)

      1. Hi Jamie,

        Thanks so much for the instructions on the rough transcripts. I really enjoy the BHP and always want to learn more. Your Member’s Podcasts on The Last Kingdom were AWESOME! Do you have any plans for do podcasts on the Season they just finished?

        Poor Uhtred. He just can’t catch a break, can he? My husband has learned a LOT while watching the first 3 Seasons, since I have already heard your Podcasts on them and what you and Zee say toenails nicely with what I know myself to be historically accurate. I am continually telling him “Nope that is not right” or Yup that is RIGHT!”

        Thanks again!

  12. There was mention of listing Zee’s Doctoral Thesis on the site; is that still pending, or is my ineptitude on computers on display again? Thank you.
    Kepler’s dad

  13. Hi there!

    I’m a brand new and completely addicted devotee of the podcast.. what a tremendous effort on your behalf! I’ve always loved history, but it’s been years since I found myself genuinely excited to pick it up again with everything contemporaneous filling up all my spare time. I’m not sure if you’re still active 8 years later, but I’m just enjoying the hell out of your content.

    I’ve only made it up to the point of Marcus Aurelius and the retreat from the walls, but I’ve accomplished all of that listening in two days haha.. Thoroughly enjoying it. I wanted to say as a footnote: one of my favorite episodes so far was your entire discussion of all the various theories about what happened to the IX, VIIII, or 9th Legion. The topic itself is fascinating, but what I enjoyed the most was how thoroughly you explored the wide range of historical sleuthing done trying to solve the mystery. You mentioned at the time you weren’t going to do too many more episodes like that, but I sincerely hope you end up doing more that I just haven’t listened to yet. Exploring tangents is one of my favorite parts of history!

    I hope you’re doing well and have something else you’re working on that you’re going to share with the world. Thank you!


    1. Yep I’m still going and I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the show! If you like deep dives, you’re going to love the Anglo Saxons. We have long form investigations into food, feasting, and social culture. We spend a year on Alfred the Great, about six months on AEthelred Unraed. You’ll get to know these people really well. :)

  14. Jamie, thank you for feeding my insatiable appetite for history. The podcast is very well done, love the detail, love the story.

  15. Hi Jamie – can i ask what the sources were for the tale of Thorkell the Tall and his 2nd wife murdering his first born son? I have an inkling this could make the basis of a great novel and i’m looking for a new idea to take a break from my current 1066 series… Cheers – Paul Bernardi

  16. I have seen the amazing Sutton Hoo treasures at the British Museum and wanted to say that your podcasts breathed life into them in ways that the displays and descriptions did not. The story of their discovery and the cataloging of the found items was so riveting that I extended a walk so I could listen to them back to back. There is now a spot along the walking trail that I can’t pass without thinking of pattern welded swords. Can’t wait to return to London and listen to those podcasts before viewing the treasures again.

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