Whether as 'the Venomous Bead' of 1066 and All That or through more serious appreciation of his life and work, Bede may fairly be called the best known of all medieval historians who wrote in Britain. His Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which he completed in 731, has been enjoyed either in its original Latin or in numerous English translations for centuries. It has been seen as the first attempt at a national history, and although this would not have been Bede's real aim, it certainly provides us with most of what can be used to compile a narrative history of the early Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, from the fifth to the mid-eighth centuries.



from page ix, Ecclesiastical History of the English People