The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The annals were initially created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great. Multiple manuscript copies were made and distributed to monasteries across England and were independently updated. In one case, the chronicle was still being actively updated in 1154.
Nine manuscripts survive in whole or in part, though not all are of equal historical value and none of them are the original version. The oldest seems to have been started towards the end of Alfred's reign, while the most recent was written at Peterborough Abbey after a fire at that monastery in 1116. Almost all of the material in the chronicle is in the form of annals, by year; the earliest are dated at 60 BC, and historical material follows up to the year in which the chronicle was written, at which point contemporary records begin. These manuscripts collectively are known as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is an account of the early history of Britain. It was originally compiled on the orders of King Alfred the Great, approximately A.D. 890, and subsequently maintained and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the middle of the 12th Century. The original language is Anglo-Saxon (Old English), but later entries are essentially Middle English in tone. It consists of 9 differing manuscripts that collectively trace the outlines of British history. Together, even with their inconsistencies, they comprise the best source of factual information from an era shrouded in myth.For a millennium or so, historians have been reading this landmark reference to distinguish between fact and fantasy in the complex history of Britain. It has established the standard time-line from pre-history into the middle ages.This edition is a translation from the Old English to a more readable Modern English by the Reverend James Ingram. His scholarly view is amply demonstrated in his introduction that traces the early fusion of The Doomsday Book and the Saxon Chronicle into this work that has come to be known as The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.