A Mighty Fleet and the King’s Power: the Isle of Man, AD 400 to 1265


Tim Clarkson’s aim, to ‘present a narrative political history of the Isle of Man’, is achieved in this book, which covers the pre-Viking era through to the end of Scandinavian influence on the island, and the upheaval that followed.

The events of the early years are murky, but Clarkson has tackled them in some detail but in an accessible way. Due to the lack of documentation, there is a lot of theorising needed, but the author shows his working out each time, producing an interesting discussion around the influences of the Irish, Welsh, and Britons.

As Clarkson states in the introduction, this is not a study of the archaeology of the period, and there are a couple of instances where alternative interpretations exist. That said, this is an easy-to-read account, clearly set out, enabling the reader to dip in and out of the narrative, and it has good notes and bibliography.

Tim Clarkson
John Donald, £14.99
ISBN 978-1910900802