The Isles: a History

ISBN 13: 9780330475709

The Isles: a History

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9780330475709: The Isles: a History
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This large and ambitious work explores the multinational identity of the `British' and argues that Britain's history can never be cut off from that of the rest of Europe. The book does not claim to be anything other than a personal view of history but Davies challenges traditional complacency about our origins in a masterly and thoroughly compelling fashion. Davies begins with a discussion of the identity of the man who was buried in a high cave in present-day Cheddar Gorge about 10,000 years ago, before Britain became an island. The book then spans the history and populations of the Isles through prehistory, multiple invasions and imperialism to the multi-racial Britain of today. Includes many extracts from contemporary texts and verse and 78 appendices.

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Review:

When did British history begin, and where will it all end? These controversial issues are tackled head-on in Norman Davies's polemical and persuasive survey of the four countries that in modern times have become known as the British Isles. Covering 10 millennia in just over a thousand pages, from "Cheddar Man" to New Labour, Davies shows how relatively recently the English state was formed--no earlier than Tudor times--and shows, too, how a sense of Britishness emerged only with the coming of empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. A historian of Poland, and the author of an acclaimed history of Europe, Davies is especially sensitive to the complex mixing and merging of tribes and races, languages and traditions, conquerors and colonized that has gone on throughout British history and that in many ways makes "our island story" much more like that of the rest of Europe than we usually think. Many myths of the English are dispelled in this book, and many historians are taken to task for their blinkered Anglocentrism. But the book ends on an upbeat note, with Davies welcoming Britain's return to the heart of Europe at the dawn of the new millennium. --Miles Taylor, Amazon.co.uk

About the Author:


Norman Davies is the author of Europe: A History. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of London, Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy.

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Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0330475703 ISBN 13: 9780330475709
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