The Rise of Early London

Philip Parker at Literary Review:

Anglo-Saxon London suffers from an image problem, or more precisely from the problem that we have no image of it at all. In contrast to the showy glamour of Roman Britain, with its amphitheatres, temples and abundance of literature, or the vibrant cultural melting pot of the Tudor era, the Anglo-Saxon metropolis has almost no remaining visible architecture, a dearth of written sources and a patchy archaeological presence.

It is an arena from which historians have, perhaps wisely, shied away, but Rory Naismith’s Citadel of the Saxons manages to turn the slim pickings of the surviving evidence into something like a consistent narrative of the early days of London. It is a fascinating account of a period when it was more an overgrown village than a global city (or even a national capital).

more here.