Author: Robert Tombs
Release Date: 2015
The English first materialized as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. From the armed Saxon bands that descended onto Roman-controlled Britain in the fifth century to the travails of the Eurozone plaguing the prime-ministership of today's multicultural England, acclaimed historian Robert Tombs presents a momentous and challenging history of a people who have a claim to be the oldest nation in existence. Drawing on a wealth of recent scholarship, Tombs sheds light on the strength and resilience of English governance, the deep patterns of division among the people who have populated the British Isles, the persistent capacity of the English to come together in the face of danger, and not the least the ways the English have understood their own history, have argued about it, forgotten it and yet been shaped by it. Momentous and definitive, The English and Their History is the first single-volume work on this scale for more than half a century. -- From publisher web site.
Author: Robert Tombs
Release Date: 2015-10-27
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book Robert Tombs’s momentous The English and Their History is both a startlingly fresh and a uniquely inclusive account of the people who have a claim to be the oldest nation in the world. The English first came into existence as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. They have lasted as a recognizable entity ever since, and their defining national institutions can be traced back to the earliest years of their history. The English have come a long way from those first precarious days of invasion and conquest, with many spectacular changes of fortune. Their political, economic and cultural contacts have left traces for good and ill across the world. This book describes their history and its meanings from their beginnings in the monasteries of Northumbria and the wetlands of Wessex to the cosmopolitan energy of today’s England. Robert Tombs draws out important threads running through the story, including participatory government, language, law, religion, the land and the sea, and ever-changing relations with other peoples. Not the least of these connections are the ways the English have understood their own history, have argued about it, forgotten it and yet been shaped by it. These diverse and sometimes conflicting understandings are an inherent part of their identity. Rather to their surprise, as ties within the United Kingdom loosen, the English are suddenly embarking on a new chapter. The English and Their History, the first single-volume work on this scale for more than half a century, and which incorporates a wealth of recent scholarship, presents a challenging modern account of this immense and continuing story, bringing out the strength and resilience of English government, the deep patterns of division and also the persistent capacity to come together in the face of danger.
Author: Robert Tombs
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2014-11-06
In The English and their History, the first full-length account to appear in one volume for many decades, Robert Tombs gives us the history of the English people, and of how the stories they have told about themselves have shaped them, from the prehistoric 'dreamtime' through to the present day If a nation is a group of people with a sense of kinship, a political identity and representative institutions, then the English have a claim to be the oldest nation in the world. They first came into existence as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. They have lasted as a recognizable entity ever since, and their defining national institutions can be traced back to the earliest years of their history. The English have come a long way from those precarious days of invasion and conquest, with many spectacular changes of fortune. Their political, economic and cultural contacts have left traces for good and ill across the world. This book describes their history and its meanings from their beginnings in the monasteries of Northumbria and the wetlands of Wessex to the cosmopolitan energy of today's England. Robert Tombs draws out important threads running through the story, including participatory government, language, law, religion, the land and the sea, and ever-changing relations with other peoples. Not the least of these connections are the ways the English have understood their own history, have argued about it, forgotten it, and yet been shaped by it. These diverse and sometimes conflicting understandings are an inherent part of their identity. Rather to their surprise, as ties within the United Kingdom loosen, the English are suddenly beginning a new period in their long history. Especially at times of change, history can help us to think about the sort of people we are and wish to be. This book, the first single-volume work on this scale for more than half a century, and which incorporates a wealth of recent scholarship, presents a challenging modern account of this immense and continuing story, bringing out the strength and resilience of English government, the deep patterns of division, and yet also the persistent capacity to come together in the face of danger. ROBERT TOMBS is Professor of French History at Cambridge University and a Fellow of St John's College. His book That Sweet Enemy: the French and the British from the Sun King to the Present, co-written with his wife Isabelle, was published in 2006.
Author: Michael Braddick
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2008-02-28
The sequence of civil wars that ripped England apart in the seventeenth century was the single most traumatic event in this country between the medieval Black Death and the two world wars. Indeed, it is likely that a greater percentage of the population were killed in the civil wars than in the First World War. This sense of overwhelming trauma gives this major new history its title: God’s Fury, England’s Fire. The name of a pamphlet written after the king’s surrender, it sums up the widespread feeling within England that the seemingly endless nightmare that had destroyed families, towns and livelihoods was ordained by a vengeful God – that the people of England had sinned and were now being punished. As with all civil wars, however, ‘God’s fury’ could support or destroy either side in the conflict. Was God angry at Charles I for failing to support the true, protestant, religion and refusing to work with Parliament? Or was God angry with those who had dared challenge His anointed Sovereign? Michael Braddick’s remarkable book gives the reader a vivid and enduring sense both of what it was like to live through events of uncontrollable violence and what really animated the different sides. The killing of Charles I and the declaration of a republic – events which even now seem in an English context utterly astounding – were by no means the only outcomes, and Braddick brilliantly describes the twists and turns that led to the most radical solutions of all to the country’s political implosion. He also describes very effectively the influence of events in Scotland, Ireland and the European mainland on the conflict in England. God’s Fury, England’s Fire allows readers to understand once more the events that have so fundamentally marked this country and which still resonate centuries after their bloody ending.
Author: Robert Lacey
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: 2004-06-03
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
With insight, humor and fascinating detail, Lacey brings brilliantly to life the stories that made England--from Ethelred the Unready to Richard the Lionheart, the Venerable Bede to Piers the Ploughman.
Author: Simon Jenkins
Publisher: Profile Books
Release Date: 2011-09-08
From the invaders of the dark ages to the aftermath of the coalition, one of Britain's most respected journalists, Simon Jenkins, weaves together a strong narrative with all the most important and interesting dates in a book that characteristically is as stylish as it is authoritative. A Short History of England sheds light on all the key individuals and events, bringing them together in an enlightening and engaging account of the country's birth, rise to global prominence and then partial eclipse.There have been long synoptic histories of England but until now there has been no standard short work covering all significant events, themes and individuals. Now updated to take in the rapid progress of recent events and beautifully illustrated, this magisterial history will be the standard work for years to come.
Author: Henry Hitchings
Release Date: 2013-11-05
Examines the development of manners and codes of conduct in England from the Middle Ages to the present and what they reveal about English society and how English people react to awkward situations--with both formality and rudeness.
Author: Peter Ackroyd
Release Date: 2012-10-16
The first book in Peter Ackroyd's history of England series, which has since been followed up with two more installments, Tudors and Rebellion. In Foundation, the chronicler of London and of its river, the Thames, takes us from the primeval forests of England's prehistory to the death, in 1509, of the first Tudor king, Henry VII. He guides us from the building of Stonehenge to the founding of the two great glories of medieval England: common law and the cathedrals. He shows us glimpses of the country's most distant past--a Neolithic stirrup found in a grave, a Roman fort, a Saxon tomb, a medieval manor house--and describes in rich prose the successive waves of invaders who made England English, despite being themselves Roman, Viking, Saxon, or Norman French. With his extraordinary skill for evoking time and place and his acute eye for the telling detail, Ackroyd recounts the story of warring kings, of civil strife, and foreign wars. But he also gives us a vivid sense of how England's early people lived: the homes they built, the clothes the wore, the food they ate, even the jokes they told. All are brought vividly to life in this history of England through the narrative mastery of one of Britain's finest writers.
Author: Stephan Gramley
Release Date: 2012-03-15
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
The History of English: An Introduction provides a chronological analysis of the linguistic, social, and cultural development of the English language from before its establishment in Britain around the year 450 to the present. Each chapter represents a new stage in the development of the language from Old English through Middle English to Modern Global English, all illustrated with a rich and diverse selection of primary texts showing changes in language resulting from contact, conquest and domination, and the expansion of English around the world. The History of English goes beyond the usual focus on English in the UK and the USA to include the wider global course of the language during and following the Early Modern English period. This perspective therefore also includes a historical review of English in its pidgin and creole varieties and as a native and/or second language in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Australasia. Designed to be user-friendly, The History of English contains: chapter introductions and conclusions to assist study over 80 textual examples demonstrating linguistic change, accompanied by translations and/or glosses where appropriate study questions on the social, cultural and linguistic background of the chapter topics further reading from key texts to extend or deepen the focus nearly 100 supporting figures, tables, and maps to illuminate the text 16-pages of colour plates depicting exemplary texts, relevant artefacts, and examples of language usage, including Germanic runes, the opening page of Beowulf, the New England Primer, and the Treaty of Waitangi. The companion website at www.routledge.com/cw/gramley supports the textbook and features: an extended view of major aspects of language development as well as synopses of material dealt with in a range of chapters in the book further sample texts, including examples from Chaucer, numerous Early Modern English texts from a wide variety of fields, and twenty-first-century novels additional exercises to help users expand their insights and apply background knowledge an interactive timeline of important historical events and developments with linked encyclopaedic entries audio clips providing examples of a wide range of accents The History of English is essential reading for any student of the English language.
In the 1600s, over 350,000 intrepid English men, women, and children migrated to America, leaving behind their homeland for an uncertain future. Whether they settled in Jamestown, Salem, or Barbados, these migrants—entrepreneurs, soldiers, and pilgrims alike—faced one incontrovertible truth: England was a very, very long way away. In Between Two Worlds, celebrated historian Malcolm Gaskill tells the sweeping story of the English experience in America during the first century of colonization. Following a large and varied cast of visionaries and heretics, merchants and warriors, and slaves and rebels, Gaskill brilliantly illuminates the often traumatic challenges the settlers faced. The first waves sought to recreate the English way of life, even to recover a society that was vanishing at home. But they were thwarted at every turn by the perils of a strange continent, unaided by monarchs who first ignored then exploited them. As these colonists strove to leave their mark on the New World, they were forced—by hardship and hunger, by illness and infighting, and by bloody and desperate battles with Indians—to innovate and adapt or perish. As later generations acclimated to the wilderness, they recognized that they had evolved into something distinct: no longer just the English in America, they were perhaps not even English at all. These men and women were among the first white Americans, and certainly the most prolific. And as Gaskill shows, in learning to live in an unforgiving world, they had begun a long and fateful journey toward rebellion and, finally, independence
Ideas of Englishness, and of the English nation, have become a matter of renewed interest in recent years as a result of threats to the integrity of the United Kingdom and the perceived rise of that unusual thing, English nationalism. Interrogating the idea of an English nation, and of how that might compare with other concepts of nationhood, this book enquires into the origins of English national identity, partly by questioning the assumption of its long-standing existence. It investigates the role of the British empire - the largest empire in world history - in the creation of English and British identities, and the results of its disappearance. Considering the ’myths of the English’ - the ideas and images that the English and others have constructed about their history and their sense of themselves as a people - the distinctiveness of English social thought (in comparison with that of other nations), the relationship between English and British identity and the relationship of Englishness to Europe, this wide-ranging, comparative and historical approach to understanding the particular nature of Englishness and English national identity, will appeal to scholars of sociology, cultural studies and history with interests in English and British national identity and debates about England’s future place in the United Kingdom.
Author: Rebecca Fraser
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2006-11-17
“A beautifully written story, a box of delights, a treasure trove: final proof of truth’s superiority over fiction.”—Andrew Roberts Rebecca Fraser's dramatic portrayal of the larger-than-life characters who forged Britain's national institutions is an enjoyable introduction to British history and a useful chronology of the past. A highly readable account of the men and women who created turning points in history, it is packed with anecdotes about British scientists, explorers, soldiers, traders, writers, and artists.
The History of Britain and Ireland traces the key events that shaped the societies living in the British Isles from the earliest times to the present day. From the Roman conquest of 43 CE to the Norman conquest of 1066, from the Elizabethan age of Shakespeare to the Victorian age of Charles Dickens, and from the Hundred Years War of the 14th and 15th centuries to the Iraq and Afghan wars of the 21st century, this beautifully illustrated book provides a definitive visual chronicle of the most colorful and defining episodes in British history. The story begins at least half a million years ago when humans started to make their home in Britain. Around 3000 BCE, the first Britons were making their mark on the landscape at remarkable sites such as the stone village of Skara Brae in Orkney and the earliest earthworks at Stonehenge. They entered the annals of recorded history with Julius Caesar's exploratory expedition across the Channel in the late summer of 55 BCE. From then on the small group of islands off the west coast of Europe was never far from the center of world affairs: pioneering the industrial revolution, creating the largest empire the world has ever seen, fighting two world wars in the 20th century, and finally coming to terms with a new status in a fast-changing global economy. The History of Britain and Ireland combines a spread-by-spread narrative of events with a wealth of supporting features on the decisive turning points in the long and fascinating story of the British Isles, and on the outstanding individuals-from Geoffrey Chaucer and Queen Elizabeth I to Charles Darwin and Winston Churchill-who helped shape that story.
Author: Kenneth O. Morgan
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2010-04-15
The Oxford History of Britain tells the story of Britain and its people over two thousand years, from the coming of the Roman legions to the present day. Encompassing political, social, economic, and cultural developments throughout the British Isles, the dramatic narrative is taken up in turn by ten leading historians who offer the fruits of the best modern scholarship to the general reader in an authoritative form. A vivid, sometimes surprising picture emerges of a continuous turmoil of change in every period, and the wider social context of political and economic tension is made clear. But consensus, no less than conflict, is a part of the story: in focusing on elements of continuity down the centuries, the authors bring out that special awareness of identity which has been such a distinctive feature of British society. By relating both these factors in the British experience, and by exploring the many ways in which Britain has shaped and been shaped by contact with Europe and the wider world, this landmark work brings the reader face to face with the past, and the foundations of modern British society. The new edition brings the story into the twenty-first century, covering the changes to British society and culture during the Blair years and the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath.