The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1) by Bernard CornwellThis is the story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.
The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred’s kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father’s land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea.
This thrilling adventure—based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell’s ancestors—depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England.
Bernard Cornwell Interview - The Last Kingdom
The Last Kingdom Series (formerly The Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories)
It is a tale of endless war and at the end of it, in the early years of the 10th Century, a new nation is born; England. It is a story that is curiously ignored, almost as if we assume that England was always there, but the making of England is a tale of vast and savage struggle, and at times that struggle looked hopeless. The hero of The Last Kingdom is part fictional and part real. There really was a man called Uhtred who was Lord of Bebbanburg, but we know almost nothing about him. I had never even heard of him until, at the age of 58, I met my real father for the first time. He was a Canadian named Oughtred, a name that had gone to Canada with emigrants in the 19th Century, and those emigrants had taken with them the family tree which traced the Oughtreds all the way back to the Saxons called Uhtred.
Added by 28 of our members. The twelfth installment of Bernard Cornwell's New York Times bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England - "superior entertainment that is both engaging and enlightening" Washington Post , and the basis for The Last Kingdom , the hit Netflix series.
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Bernard Cornwell born 23 February is an English author of historical novels. He is best known for his novels about Napoleonic Wars rifleman Richard Sharpe which were adapted into a series of Sharpe television films. He was adopted by a family in Essex who belonged to a religious sect called the Peculiar People and they were , but escaped to London University and, after a stint as a teacher, he joined BBC Television where he worked for the next 10 years. It was while working in Belfast that he met Judy, a visiting American, and fell in love. Judy was unable to move to Britain for family reasons so Bernard went to the States where he was refused a Green Card.
The protagonist of the series is Uhtred of Bebbanburg , born to a Saxon lord in Northumbria , but captured and adopted by the Danes. The story takes place during the Danish invasions of Britain, when all but one of the English kingdoms are conquered. The name of the fictional protagonist comes from the historical Uhtred the Bold ; Cornwell is descended from this long ago family. The story centres on the emergence of England as a nation on the island of Britain from the vision and actions of Alfred , later dubbed "the Great". King Alfred of Wessex reluctantly accepts that he cannot drive the invaders from the island, after his defeat at Wilton, and is forced to make peace with them.