Tom Holland's Æthelstan is Hay Festival Book of the Month for September, continuing the Festival's campaign to celebrate and ignite conversation around current and backlist books that have contemporary resonance.
With relish and drama, Holland recounts the formation of England against the odds - how Æthelstan finally united Mercia and Wessex, conquered Northumbria and became Rex totius Britanniae. We meet the great figures of the age and at the end of the book understand the often confusing history of the Anglo-Saxon kings better than ever before.
Holland is an award-winning historian, biographer and broadcaster. He is the author of Rubicon: The Triumph and the Tragedy of the Roman Republic, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize; Persian Fire, his history of the Graeco-Persian wars, won the Anglo-Hellenic League’s Runciman Award in 2006; Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom, a panoramic account of the two centuries on either side of the apocalyptic year 1000; In the Shadow of the Sword, which covers the collapse of Roman and Persian power in the Near East, and the emergence of Islam; and Dynasty, a portrait of Rome’s first imperial dynasty.
Hay Festival’s Book of the Month is selected by the festival team in Hay-on-Wye, based on public recommendations, and aims to revisit and re-celebrate great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry that reach through time to touch the present.
Titles are sold in the UK through the festival’s online shop, as well as being available in all good libraries and bookshops, with a digital festival of promotion online, including curated streams on the festival’s Hay Player archive.
Find out more about Hay Festival’s Book of the Month here or explore #HayBookOfTheMonth on social.