Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

The Bone Chests

Unlocking the Secrets of the Anglo-Saxons

Cat Jarman



In stock
Ready to ship


04 October 2023

‘A diligent historian and a superb writer’ THE TIMES

A gripping new history of the making of England as a nation.

In December 1642, during the Civil War, Parliamentarian troops stormed Winchester Cathedral and smashed ten beautifully decorated wooden chests to the ground, using the bones inside as missiles to shatter the cathedral’s stained glass windows. Afterwards, the clergy scrambled to collect the scattered remains: the bones of ancient kings, bishops and one formidable queen.

Bestselling historian Cat Jarman builds on the ground-breaking work of forensic archaeologists to lead us through more than a millennium of history. Alongside the cutting-edge investigation to unlock the bones' secrets, this is a thrilling and sometimes tragic tale. It tells the story of both the seekers and the sought, of those who protected the bones and those who spurned them.
Imprint:   HARPER360
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   510g
ISBN:   9780008447335
ISBN 10:   0008447330
Pages:   272
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Dr Cat Jarman is a bioarchaeologist and field archaeologist specialising in the Viking Age, Viking women, and Rapa Nui. She uses forensic techniques like isotope analysis, carbon dating, and DNA analysis on human remains to untangle the experiences of past people from broader historical narratives. Dr Jarman has contributed to numerous TV documentaries as both an on-screen expert and historical consultant, including programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, History, Discovery, and more.

Reviews for The Bone Chests: Unlocking the Secrets of the Anglo-Saxons

A TIMES HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR ‘Beguiling … I adored [River Kings] so felt like a young boy on Christmas morning when I first opened The Bone Chests … Jarman’s investigation has something of a Dan Brown quest to it … she’s a diligent historian and a superb writer’ The Times 'This is the best kind of popular history, retelling the story of early medieval England with an equally good grasp of textual sources, archaeology and forensic analysis, and a love of Winchester’ Ronald Hutton ‘Through their story, we can recapture the spirit of the Anglo-Saxon age and, as Jarman writes, learn about the ‘past lives of people who were a little bit like us, who lived, loved, and left an imprint on the generations that came after them’, and who in their vexing anonymity encourage us to find out more’ Literary Review ‘An engaging account of England’s pre-Conquest monarchs, from famous figured such as Alfred the Great to long-forgotten kings Cynegils and Centwine’ i News PRAISE FOR RIVER KINGS: A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER (September 2021) Waterstones Book of the Month (October 2021) ‘A masterly history … River Kings is a mystery and an adventure, the tale of a quest that took Jarman from Repton to Scandinavia, across the Baltic Sea, over to Baghdad and finally to India. I was held captive … In addition to being a wonderful writer, Jarman is a skilled bioarchaeologist … River Kings is like a classical symphony, perfectly composed and exquisitely performed. Tiny trills of detail give way to pounding drums of drama’ Gerard deGroot, Times ‘Cat Jarman will transform the way you think about the Vikings’ Dan Snow

See Inside

See Also