1.5 The Life and Times of Penda I

7th Century England was inherently unstable, populated by a patchwork of communities, petty kingdoms successful and less so. Into this pagan mix also comes the lure of Christianity again. Meanwhile, in central England a pagan warrior called Penda became king, probably in 626.

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I have loved and lived with the story of the history of the English for as long as I can remember. This is my retelling of that story, in a regular, chronological podcast, from the cataclysmic end of Roman Britain, all the way through to the present day. I’m a bloke in a shed, this is not a dry retelling of events; I make sure this is good, properly prepared history, but I fill it with my love and enthusiasm for history, and some of the things that make me laugh. You’ll find the great events and people for sure – but also some of the byways, of how people lived, their language, and the forces that shaped their lives and destinies.

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