Over the past couple of months Oxbow Books and other distributed publishers such as MOLA, have received great reviews in the British media. Three Oxbow authors have written fascinating features for History Extra and The Independent online have written an article on the archaeological research carried out by MOLA, on how London became Britain’s capital.
For more information and to view these articles please carry on reading and let us know what you think!
A Medieval Woman’s Companion by Susan Signe Morrison. Published by Oxbow Books
Although there have been fiercely independent women throughout history, it’s intriguing how many of them remain relatively unknown, especially in the medieval period. Susan Morrison’s book, A Medieval Woman’s Companion, uncovers and celebrates the autonomy of brave and successful medieval women and preserves their stories.
Morrison’s book illustrates the continual struggle (and success) of medieval women against what was expected of them, and, as Susan states in her History Extra article, extends the known lineage of ‘Girls (who) stood up to those who did not let them lead the lives they chose.’
Offa’s Dyke, a scar of land stretching over one hundred miles, has been re-examined in the new book by Keith Ray and Ian Bapty. The dyke served as an extensive intimidation attempt, aimed at the Welsh kingdoms by Offa, King of Mercia.
Offa’s Dyke: Landscape and Hegemony in Eighth-Century Britain explores how the kingdom of Mercia attempted to bleed into, and take over, other kingdoms of England, and the Mercian’s desire to demonstrate their might to neighbouring locations. Ray and Bapty’s study of the dyke ultimately explores not only the efforts behind its construction, but also how and why Offa’s ambition forever changed the British landscape.
Gardens have long been cultivated for personal enjoyment, and the gardens of ancient civilisations were no different. Linda Farrar’s book, Gardens and Gardeners of the Ancient World, discusses the importance of gardens throughout ancient history and the respect given to those who excelled in the art of horticulture.
Linda Farrar shows the evolution of human thought on cultivated areas of greenery- tracking the idea that enjoyment and relaxation can be found so easily in a well-maintained garden.
The recent publication by the Museum of London Archaeology details the history and motives behind the creation of London as a city and how it became England’s capital.
An Early Roman Fort and Urban Development on Londinium’s Eastern Hill outlines the havoc caused by Boadicea’s troops and the Romans’ need to develop a new, stronger, capital after Colchester was destroyed. As David Keys notes, London had ‘key strategic, mercantile and political advantages over Colchester’, and allowed the Romans to thrive after initial building had been completed- causing a rapid change to the geography of England.