Bede's History of the English Church and People
British Library Cotton MS Tiberius C.II, f.5v
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Bede's 'History of the English Church and People' tells the story of the conversion of the English people to Christianity and is the chief source of information about English history from the arrival of St Augustine in Kent in 597 until 731.
Bede (died 735) spent all his adult life as a monk at Jarrow in Northumbria. He was the first great English historical writer, and this is his most famous work. The 'History' tells how Christianity played a vital role in creating a sense of national identity at a time when England was still divided into a number of kingdoms.
This manuscript was produced in the early ninth century in southern England, possibly at Canterbury, within a century of Bede's death. The beginning of Book I is shown here.