The English and their History

The English and their History
Authors:
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
EAN: 9780141031651
ISBN: 0141031654
Categories: Historiography | British and Irish History |

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. Since 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 the history of the English and its meanings, from the earliest beginnings in wetlands and monasteries to the cosmopolitan energy of today's England. Robert Tombs draws out important threads running through the story, including participatory government, language, law, religion, ever-changing relations with other peoples, and the diverse and sometimes conflicting ways the English have understood their own history. This book, the first single-volume work on this scale for more than half a century, presents a challenging modern account, 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. 'Masterful, an enormously readable narrative of the English people from the Anglo-Saxons to the present.' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times, Books of the Year 'As ambitious as it is successful . . . Packed with telling detail and told with gentle, sardonic wit, a vast and delightful book.' Ben MacIntyre, The Times, Books of the Year 'Superb . . . pithy and punchy, a tremendous achievement, and deserves to become the standard history for years to come.' Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times 'A stupendous achievement . . . a story of a people we can't fail to recognize: stoical, brave, drunken, bloody-minded, violent, undeferential, yet paradoxically law-abiding . . . I found myself gripped.' Daniel Hannan,Spectator 'It's the perfect pick-me-up. In fact I could hardly put it down . . . an outstanding work.' Robert Colls, Literary Review


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