The three sections of this introduction to a people are labeled War, Daily Life and Religion, and the early part of ""Religion"" reads much like that of ""War""--which is more a history of conquests than a description of weapons and tactics. But Crossley-Holland also has an eye for the beauty of an early sword or shield, and he devotes much of ""Religion"" to the illuminated manuscripts and other artistic achievements of the early Christians (especially the monks of Northumbria which in 664 became the ""nerve center of Christianity not only in England but in Europe as a whole""). Frequent quotes, not only from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle but from Beowulf and other poetry, evoke or elucidate aspects of life on the farm, in town, at court or on the road. When Crossley-Holland asks, ""Who were the Anglo-Saxons? What were they really like?"" it is clear that the question has seized his own imagination; his answers--supported by a splendid sampling of photos and reproductions--might well fire others.