The English, Robert Tombs writes in his 'Prelude' to this landmark book, have acquired ancestors by legend, conquest and migration . Here, in a single volume for the first time in ninety years, is a fresh, completely up to date account of the long history of an island and its peoples; of its conquerors, kings and queens; of the social, the political and the cultural; of the mythological and the legendary, and of the extraordinarily true. This is the history of the English, and of how the stories they have told about themselves have shaped them.
This ambitious history provides a readable and engagingly broad sweep of English history over the past 1500 years. From Bede to Blair, and from Anglo-Saxon invaders during the Dark Ages to 21st-century concerns about immigration, Tombs has portrayed a fascinating picture of England and what makes it unique. He looks at the importance of the English language, which was effectively outlawed by the Normans, but somehow became a global language. He also analyses a whole host of issues, from the shackles of Victorian sexual repression, through our ongoing belief in questioning the Establishment, and our love of nostalgia, to our modern obsession with centralisation. Not only do we have a greater sense of our history than any other country, but the author rightly argues that we have given the world the greatest gift of all, the concept of Common Law. This is an extremely erudite, but enjoyable read.
Publication date: 06/11/2014
Publisher: Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
|Publication date:||6th November 2014|
|Publisher:||Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, History,|
Robert Tombs is Professor of History at Cambridge University. His acclaimed book That Sweet Enemy: The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present was published in 2006. He is one of the leading scholars of Anglo-French relations.More About Robert Tombs