A Short Introduction to Anglo-Saxonism
This is not a book about the Anglo-Saxons,
but a book about books about Anglo-Saxons. It describes the academic
discipline of Anglo-Saxonism; the methods of study used; the underlying
assumptions; and the uses to which it has been put.
Methods and motives have changed over time but right from the
start there have been the constant themes of Anglo-Saxon democracy
and the rights of the freeborn Englishman. They have given rise
to ideas and perceptions which have greatly influenced the development
of English society and political history - e.g. the Peasants Revolt
and the English Civil War. The idea of an early Anglo-Saxon democracy
inspired the Levellers and is at the core of the English radical
tradition and inspired the 18th century American revolutionaries.
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