A History of the British Isles
A magisterial new one-volume history of the British Isles from the Romans to the present day, by six of our most prestigious and engaging historians.
Scholarship on the history of the British Isles is currently experiencing a golden age. The breakdown of modernism and the eclipse of both the Marxist tradition and the 'Whig interpretation' that sees all history as progress, combined with the trajectories of nationalism in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, have generated unprecedented intellectual activity.
Nor has the world stood still: the collapse of communism, the issue of integration into the EU, and the advance of multiculturalism have led more and more people in the English speaking world as a whole to sense that their collective landscape now looks profoundly different from that inhabited by their ancestors even a few decades ago.
In A World By Itself, six distinguished historians offer the most definitive and compelling history of the British Isles to date. Tracing the political, religious and material cultures from the Romans to the present day, this is at once an urgent reassessment of our shared past, and an inspirational celebration of British history. It focuses on the major themes and most dramatic moments of the last two millenia: the rise and fall of empires; reformation, revolution and restoration; wars both civil and global; and the enduring question of what it means to be British.
“A thought provoking and uncompromising book...[which] will surely influence the way we regard ourselves and our country (not just Britain but also Scotland) in the years to come”
Trevor Royle, Sunday Herald
“[A] confident and fascinating history of Britain... Masterful... It is a volume that speaks well to our own sense of Britain today as a globalised, trading island retreating back to the edges of power... damned good”
Tristram Hunt, Observer
“This single-volume history manages to combine a balanced new survey of the past with a rousing declaration of the historian's moral obligations... This is a very good book to have on the shelf”
Christian Tyler, Financial Times
“I thoroughly recommend the book, written by a collection of top-hole experts in their field... Excellent”
A. N. Wilson
“[A World By Itself] tells how a small group of islands on the rain-swept edge of the Roman Empire came to shape the civilised world, effectively inventing parliamentary democracy, industrialisation, free trade and globalisation, as well as bequeathing to posterity the greatest body of literature on earth”
Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Telegraph
“A massive work of scholarship”