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The Debatable Land

by Graham Robb

The Debatable Land Synopsis

An oft-overlooked region lies at the heart of British national history: the Debatable Land. The oldest detectable territorial division in Great Britain, the Debatable Land once served as a buffer between England and Scotland. It was once the bloodiest region in the country, fought over by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and James V. After most of its population was slaughtered or deported, it became the last part of Great Britain to be brought under the control of the state. Today, its boundaries have vanished from the map and are matters of myth and generational memories. In The Debatable Land, historian Graham Robb recovers the history of this ancient borderland in an exquisite tale that spans Roman, Medieval, and present-day Britain. Rich in detail and epic in scope, The Debatable Land provides a crucial, missing piece in the puzzle of British history.

The Debatable Land Press Reviews

An imagination-stimulating work in which the past seems to 'dissolve and reshape itself.' -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Focusing on this one remarkable region, Robb's two-wheeled perspective and highly observant eye allow him to ruminate through the Celtic, medieval, and present eras with ease; readers are lucky to join him on his enthralling journey. -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) An amiably learned, leisurely tour of the land's history, chinked with anecdotes. -- Christian Science Monitor Graham Robb, apart from being a distinguished historian, biographer and literary critic, is one of our most accomplished travel writers.... [He] bicycles with the speed and ferocity of a Scottish reiver through these lost flatlands of history. -- Spectator A detective outing on native soil. Armed with energy, humour, a poet's eye and a bicycle-all things his fans will be familiar with-Robb probes the received wisdoms of the past... His skill as a writer is to understand, without being fey, the fourth dimension: peeling back the modern landscape to find buried stories. -- Times (UK) It's a book worth reading... it contains several glories, much fine writing and the odd (very odd) wonder. -- Andrew Marr - Sunday Times (UK) Revelatory. -- Alan Taylor - Literary Review Robb intercuts the past and present, the intimate and the impersonal, to wonderful effect. Few authors write so well about things lost and neglected-or have such sharp ears and eyes for the natural world. -- Ian Jack - Guardian

Book Information

ISBN: 9780393357059
Publication date: 25th August 2020
Author: Graham Robb
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 336 pages
Categories: Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500,

About Graham Robb

Best-selling author Graham Robb was born in Manchester in 1958 and is a former Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He is an acclaimed historian and biographer, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has won the Whitbread Biography Prize and the Heinemann Award for Victor Hugo, as well as the Ondaatje Prize and Duff Cooper Prize for The Discovery of France. His book Parisians was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. He lives on the Anglo-Scottish border.

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