The Age of Chronicles & Sagas

Ref: C3672228

The course will begin by examining the character of King Edgar's reign and its achievements, looking especially at the impact of the Benedictine Reform Movement, and how this affected the intellectual life of the Church and English scholarship in the later 10th century. We will go on to examine the nature of the crisis in the English government following the death of Edgar, the resurgence of Danish incursions against he British Isles after 980, and King Aethelred's response to such developments. We will then asses the impact of the Danish invasion of 1013, the subsequent rule of King Cnut, the installation of an "imperial" Danish rule, and the subsequent restoration of the House of Wessex.

Course aim

The course will analyse the development of British and English kingdoms during the 10th century AD and the return of the Norsemen to England in 1013.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Evaluate the importance of the Benedictine Reform Movement in England during the later 10th century
  • Evaluate the crisis in English government following the death of King Edgar
  • Analyse the circumstances and impact of the Danish incursions in the early years of the 11th century
  • Make some assessment of the importance of the reign of King Cnut for the governance of England

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • "In Search of the Dark Ages" Michael Wood, BBC Books 2006 "England During the Dark Ages" John Green, Didactic Press 2013

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

The Age of Chronicles & Sagas


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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