Without such handbook guides to the Anglo-Saxon countryside we should make far slower progress in understanding the people who inhabited it... Dr Hooke and her publisher are to be congratulated for making so much data available. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGYWarwickshire, a late Anglo-Saxon county drawn up around the defended burh of Warwick, brought together the eastern part of the kingdom of the Hwicce and part of Greater Mercia. This book presents all the topographical detail in the Anglo-Saxon charters and especially that in associated boundary clauses, all freshly transcribed from surviving documents, many of which are not readily available in print. Each boundary clause is individually mapped, usually for the first time, and the charter's landmarks are located as closely as possible. The evidence that emerges provides an insight into the details of the Anglo-Saxon countryside that can be obtained from no other source. Regional variation within the county becomes apparent, ranging from the pastoral and well-wooded Arden to the more heavily cultivated Feldon; Old English terminology can be related to identifiable features; and territorial organisation can be better understood when estates and their boundaries are accurately located, and light is cast upon the way that land ownership and estate organisation evolved within an older territorial regional framework.
Dr DELLA HOOKEis a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research in the Humanities at the University of Birmingham.
8 black and white, 25 line illustrations
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The larger value of Hooke's work (is) its continual focus on those features of the natural and human-made landscape that provided a sense of coherence and rootedness to the Anglo-Saxons as they demarcated and parceled it out for their own legal purposes... Short of walking the bounds oneself, this is as close as one can get to the landscape of preconquest Warwickshire. SPECULUM Hooke's now substantial body of work has contributed a new understanding, not only of the fine detail of the Anglo-Saxon landscape - the woods and headlands and quarries and streams between which the boundaries pick their way - but of land-management and farming practice. ANTIQUARIES JOURNAL