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Graham Stewart was born in 1969 and educated at St Andrews and Cambridge universities. His first book, Burying Caesar: Churchill, Chamberlain and the Battle for the Tory Party was published to international acclaim in 1999. Joining The Times as a leader writer in 2000, he wrote the latest volume of the newspaper's history, The Murdoch Years, in 2005. His other books are Friendship and Betrayal: Ambition and the Limits of Loyalty, and His Finest Hours: Winston Churchill's War Speeches. He currently writes The Times' weekly 'Past Notes' column, and is writing a history of Britain in the 1980s.
Graham Stewart takes us from the Lindisfarne Gospel to the Life in the United Kingdom Question Paper of 2005, a range of historical documents that, as Stewart asks, how many have seen them or even know what they say? How many of us can quantify the Magna Carta and who can say why The Somerset Judgement of 1772 was so important? (Slavery in England is made illegal). Well, here you can see these historic records, reproduced, explained and discussed. Well illustrated, the documents in facsimile reproduction with full or partial translations in modern English, a thoroughly original way to view British history. Like for Like Reading The Gentry: Stories of the English, Adam Nicolson 1215: The Year of the Magna Carta, Danny Danziger and John Gillingham
In Britannia Graham Stewart traces two thousand years of an island's story - from Roman province to twenty-first century European nation-state - through one hundred historic documents. From the eighth-century Lindisfarne Gospels to the great testament of Norman bureaucracy, the Domesday Book, and from the designs for the Union Jack in 1606 to Neville Chamberlain's 1938 Munich agreement with Hitler, the documents selected embrace a wide range of national endeavours: politics and religion, warfare and diplomacy, economics and the law, science and invention, literature and journalism, as well as sport and popular music. Thus the first edition of The Times rubs shoulders with the rules of the newly formed Marylebone Cricket Club; the designs for Stephenson's Rocket with the Catholic Emancipation Act; Lord Kitchener's iconic First World War recruitment poster with Clause Four of the Labour Party's constitution; and the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album cover with Britain's accession treaty to the European Economic Community. These are documents that not only defined their own eras, but which continue to resonate today.