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The history of Britain up to the Norman Conquest in the form of 100 prose commentaries, each followed by a sonnet. The commentaries set the historical scene, quoting from Bede, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and noted historians of the times, Hawkshaws sonnets are both imaginative and reflective, often casting new light on historical figures and events. Born in Yorkshire, Ann Hawkshaw spent much of her creative life in Manchester, where her husband John Hawkshaw was elected to Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society and, as a friend of Elizabeth Gaskell, she was drawn into the intellectual and literary circle of the city.