Cover Image: The 'Dark' Ages

The 'Dark' Ages

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Member Reviews

Great combination of text and photos…

Who knew the dark ages held such a wealth of colorful history? This work touched on so many different elements that made up this time. From the influence of religion across Europe and beyond, the church, islam and more were chronicled, highlighting the immense influence it had on on life and the future. I’m an amateur history buff and the medieval ages has always held such fascination for me. This take on that era was a great mix of factual, textual details combined with dozens of photos and illustrations that brought those facts to life. There was a lot of information here, told in a highly readable style, but this was in no way a one sitting read. Instead it was one I would savour over time, allowing me to take it all in in my own time…

Like every great history book I’ve read, this one has inspired me to dig into many of the events it articulated so well. I want to find out more about the Bayeux Tapestry, the European Kingdoms, the Vikings and so much more. The e-book was laid out well with the illustrations clear and concise, aligning with the text perfectly. I feel like this was a great primer, nudging me towards even digging deeper…
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A welcome reappraisal of the 'Dark' Ages, from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the 11th century, often portrayed as a time of barbarism and savagery. Well-illustrated, readable and informative.
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A good starting overview of medieval England and a bit of other locations. Good primary visuals to get idea of what is being talked about.
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I thought it was new book but already read it.
This was my review:
A well illustrated and well researched history of the Dark Ages. It's a good introduction to this era and I appreciated it.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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The Dark Ages were not so dark and Dougherty does an excellent job at shedding some light on Europe's most misunderstood time. The focus on the social groups and cultures rather than an academic timeline presentation was a very nice touch and helps keep readers' interest. This book would be perfect for people wanting a broader picture of the time period.

Thank you NetGalley and Amber Books, Ltd. for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy.
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This book was very informative looking at an area of history which has been neglected and everyone thinks of King Arthur and Vikings but looks at political vacuum as tribes move about and the start of the founding of nations.
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I found this quite academic and more of a book for research than bedtime reading. However, it was well-written and well-researched with interesting pictures. I liked the boxed sections about characters, such as King Arthur, and I enjoyed reading about early British history, King Alfred, and the growth of Christianity in Britain. It certainly proves that the 'Dark' Ages were really not so dark after all - certainly the Celts, for example, had a highly developed culture, and people such as St Hilda played an amazingly important role in the history of Christianity.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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"The Dark Ages" by Martin J. Dougherty is a comprehensive history that includes the decline of Rome and the centuries afterwards, with a somewhat Brittish-centric focus on the second half of the first millennium. The book is logically organized by the following historical geo-political groups as indicated in the table of contents: "The Roman Era", "The Barbarian Kingdoms", "Britain", "The Church", " The Norsemen", and "Kingdoms of Europe". (Personally, I might have liked an organizational approach that was more focused on a timeline, but I also acknowledge that this topic is perhaps to broad to organize in strictly chronological order.) The prose is accompanied by numerous historical artwork which adroitly illustrate the narrative. Likewise, captions, highlighted titles, and stand-alone inset explanations help the reader understand the material. 

I assume that everyone in the English speaking western world has an image of the "Dark Ages." I also suspect that it is not uncommon to take a simplistic view of three periods, for example: "High Civilization with the Roman Empire", "Chaotic Dark Ages Bereft of all Civilization in Europe", and finally "Modern Western Civilization". This book clearly informs the reader that the "Dark Ages" was not without civilization and perhaps should only be considered "Dark" since not all history during this period in Europe are clearly written down.

While reading this book, I kept thinking of the phrase, "history is written by the victors". I realized that more accurately "history is written by authors", and if we do not have written accounts then it is certainly hard to learn what happened in the distant past. I was repeatedly struck by tantalizingly off-hand references in the primary historical sources to other cultures, countries, and circumstances  that have no other known written accounts. 

Reading this book was time well spent. I feel like I have a better understanding of Europe's first millennium.
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The 'Dark' Ages by Martin J Dougherty is a more detailed account of this period than I expected but it was a very good read nonetheless. The images, a mix of color and black and white, make this a visually appealing book as well.

Whether intended for some kind of display, like a coffee or end table book, or as an actual introduction to this period, I would recommend this volume to anyone considering it. While the bibliography at the end is not as extensive as I would have liked, the text offers enough names, events, and concepts for an interested reader to have pathways into further reading and study.

I saw a couple people imply that the 'dark' ages and the middle ages are synonymous. The book makes clear that this is not the case, the so-called dark ages are generally considered the early middle ages, not the middle ages in its entirety. That misunderstanding is not the result of this book, so don't let those comments dissuade you from considering this book.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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This was an amazing text on the “Dark Ages” filled with a clear chronology of this time period. Dougherty did an amazing job at telling this story and inserting quality images that are even from the era itself. I would even say this would make for a great textbook in high schools and colleges.
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The Dark Ages is a detailed history book covering from the fall of the Roman empire to the Battle of Hasting in 1066.  It primarily focuses on Europe and Britain.  I've seen some of the places discribed and artifacts in the book during my European travels.  A lot of the big names you expect like Charlemagne, Attila, Pope Gregory are talked about but so are many others who I didn't know.  There are over 180 photos (mostly in black and white) which add to the narration.  Britain gets its own section which is probably partially due to the wealth of known history but also that the publisher is British.  This is great as a reference book but is overwhelming with so much information to digest with quick reading.  I also realize that countries and boundaries as we know them didn't exist but this book needed more maps for better understanding of locations.  This would be good for a coffee table book, a gift to your favorite history lover or reference book for a library.  Thank you to NetGalley and Amber Books for a temporary ARC ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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The "Dark" Ages provides a history of Europe from the fall of Rome to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The book provides a history of the major events and groups of people that make up those more than 1000 years of history. The book has an overwhelming amount of information. I knew bits and pieces of the information from my travels in Europe but this was an information overload of dates and names. I'm a very visual person so I wish there had been more maps showing where these groups were located because for most of the book I had no idea where the events explained were taking place. I was also disappointed to find that the photos win the book were all in black and white. I know color is more expensive, but again, I’ve read so many books from this publisher and they have always had beautiful color images. Like I said, I enjoyed the bits and pieces about places I already knew about but otherwise this had too much information for me.
Thank you to Amber Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is too cute and adorable. So glad I picked up this gem from Netgalley

Oh how I wish to run away to the countryside and fall in love in a cowboy. Chase is just to be die for. He is sweet and loyal and I am squirming all the freaking time whenever he and Evangeline have sex. I am practically swooning for like half of the book .

We have no idea how Chase manage to beat Sam and his gang of goon single handedly and it don't sounds very logical but who cares when this book make my heart flutter so much
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A concise history covering the Dark Ages, starting at the fall of the roman era, stepping into the barbarian kingdoms, before covering Britain, the church, norsemen and ending with the kingdoms of Europe. The dark ages, known as being dark through the lack of surviving written history from the period pushes this account to reference other archaeological evidence. Be it grave goods in burials, or extrapolating technological innovations, the story/history can be pieced together. 

This book is full of pictures and text, with blocks that focus on satellite topics to the main article. A well researched academic work.
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A very interesting book that really fills a gap in the market as I find this is a neglected area of history, yet this was so well researched and developed, I would definitely recommend to others. For any history lovers out there, go buy this now!
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I received The 'Dark' Ages as part of a NetGalley giveaway.

So often the target of derision, the Middle Ages, or "Dark" Ages, are seen as a period of lawlessness, violence, and chaos. To a degree, some of this is true--the strong central authority provided by the Roman Empire no longer existed, many invasions and power battles ensued, and political leadership was often in flux. Yet despite the tumultuous nature of the period, it was an incredible time of rebuilding and reformation into what would eventually become modern Europe. Small tribes traveled, fought, and coalesced into fledgeling kingdoms, the Christian church gained a foothold first as the Roman state religion and then as the sole overarching authority on a disunited continent, and socio-economic systems like feudalism would dictate life and livelihood for centuries.

I really enjoyed this. I find the early Middle Ages fascinating due to the relative lack of sources that exist. There's an air of mystery during those centuries, even as it was a pivotal time for the establishment of economic, political, and religious systems that would affect Europe for a millennium and beyond. This is a light treatment of the era, almost set up like a textbook with copious images and sidebars, but it's very accessible and an altogether wonderful introduction to a period that is both incredible in its scope as well as maddening in its opacity.
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I’m excited about the opportunity to review my first non-fiction book! A teacher and a history buff, this was a dream to read and review. 

For me, the term ‘Dark Ages’ conjures up an image of war, destruction and death. Martin J. Dougherty’s book makes us question whether that vision is really accurate. He explores history from the sack of Rome to the Battle of Hastings and shows us that yes, it was a savage time BUT it was also a time of growth that lead to the foundation of our modern world. Looking back, it can be viewed as a time of transition; laws were written, great works were completed, advances were made in math and science, agriculture saw a boom, religion helped form values and beliefs, and there was a flourishing in the arts. It was really far from dark. 

This book perfectly aligns with the Social Studies 8 curriculum in B.C., Canada. It would be a fantastic book for parents of Canadian Grade 7 children to buy over the summer and enjoy before starting school. It would also be an excellent companion for teachers and students immersed in the Grade 8 social studies curriculum. 

It ticks all the boxes for me as a teacher! 

Empty space – I love the rest areas for eyes so students can focus on good stuff! Students eyes wander and if there’s somewhere for them to rest, they’ll go back and read the information. If not, they’ll check out! 

Great visuals – There are 180 great photos and illustrations with details that pull your eye in and keep it there

Age-appropriate – Grade 7/8 and uses a medium font with appropriate vocabulary so there’s no need for teacher adaptation

Well-balanced design – consistent unit structure so students know what to expect from each chapter (helps w/study notes)

It’s written in storyline progression so students have a sense of how history developed

The ‘Dark Ages’ is an exciting, engaging and highly informative exploration of this overlooked period in medieval history. I would describe it as in between a Dorling Kindersley book and a school textbook. 

Publishes July 14, 2021

I was gifted this advance copy by Martin J. Dougherty, Amber Books Ltd., and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
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