Wednesday, November 1, 2023

The Deorhord - Hana Videen

 I really liked Hana Videen's The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English, though in fairness I am a sucker for anything that throws a little more light on the Anglo-Saxon world. I haven't read this one yet - or not more than a couple of pages of the introduction because I only bought it today. Still, I've been anticipating it for months now and it's an excellent potential present for people who love history, the Anglo-Saxons specifically, or bestiary's/animal stories. 

I follow Hana Videen's Twitter (X), it's the kind of account that makes me not mind so much that  I still need to use it for work purposes. I really fell for the Anglo-Saxon world at the British Library exhibition a few years ago, much more written material has survived than the relatively meager architectural remains might let you think. 

Deorhord promises the chance to explore the Anglo-Saxon world view through how they viewed animals. I don't know if it's surprising or not that historians still can't identify some of the things they describe - what is a moon-head? It does create an intriguing mystery - why can't we identify these beasts, what have we lost? The description of whales being thought of as sneaky as wolves interests me too. Altogether a lot to look forward to.


  1. Honestly, I am rubbish about keeping up with blogs, I finally have a moment to catch up, I alight on yours and instantly find myself buying this as a Christmas present to myself! You are a very bad influence.

    1. In this context I'm delighted to act as such and hear it!