The period between the departure of the Romans from Britain around a.d. 400 and the establishment of the English kingdoms in the later seventh century was a time of turmoil, of a breakdown in civilized life. Scots, Picts, and Anglo-Saxons pressed in on all sides. Yet it was also a time of renaissance, of a rebirth in Celtic language and art, which saw the rise of native British kingdoms in Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall, and the flowering of the Church in Celtic Britain. Charles Thomas–archaeologist and historian of the early Church–pieces together the truth behind the accretions of myth. The results of the latest research are brought to bear, including new ideas about Tintagel and excavations at Dunbarton Rock and elsewhere. From it emerges the most convincing portrait yet of a romantic and heroic age.
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