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About the book
  • Published: 25 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448163489
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304
Categories:

Under Another Sky

Journeys in Roman Britain




A journey around the archeological and cultural remains of Roman Britain by the award-winning author of It’s All Greek to Me.



Shortlisted for the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize, the Thwaites Wainwright Prize and the 2014 Dolman Travel Book Award

Shortlisted for the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize, the Thwaites Wainwright Prize and the 2014 Dolman Travel Book Award


This is a book about the encounter with Roman Britain: about what the idea of ‘Roman Britain’ has meant to those who came after Britain’s 400-year stint as province of Rome – from the medieval mythographer-historian Geoffrey of Monmouth to Edward Elgar and W.H. Auden. What does Roman Britain mean to us now? How were its physical remains rediscovered and made sense of? How has it been reimagined, in story and song and verse?

Charlotte Higgins has traced these tales by setting out to discover the remains of Roman Britain for herself, sometimes on foot, sometimes in a splendid, though not particularly reliable, VW camper van. Via accounts of some of Britain's most intriguing, and often unjustly overlooked ancient monuments, Under Another Sky invites us to see the British landscape, and British history, in an entirely fresh way: as indelibly marked by how the Romans first imagined, and wrote, these strange and exotic islands, perched on the edge of the known world, into existence.

  • Pub date: 25 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448163489
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304
Categories:

About the Author

Charlotte Higgins

Charlotte Higgins's previous books include the acclaimed Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain, which was shortlisted for awards including the Samuel Johnson (now Baillie Gifford) Prize for non-fiction. She is chief culture writer of the Guardian, a past winner of the Classical Association prize, and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. She lives in London.

Also by Charlotte Higgins

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Praise for Under Another Sky

“Wonderfully written and full of unexpected facts. Higgins brings Roman Britain into the present.”

Richard Sennett

“Beautifully crafted… The beauty of this book is not just in the elegant prose and the precision with which she skewers her myths. It is in the sympathy that she shows for the myth-makers, the men and woman who so very much wanted their very own Roman Britain.”

Peter Stothard, The Times

“Mesmerising… Sophisticated and passionate. She personalizes the story in a diaristic, almost poetic tone…her prose reminds me at times of W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn…similarly haunted by a sense of a past slipping away.”

Tim Whitmarsh, Guardian

“Smart and up-to-date, sensitive but hard-headed, impeccably researched but gloriously poetic. The layering of themes, moods and topics is staggering. There's nothing like quite it.”

Tom Holland, author of 'Rubicon' and 'Persian Fire'

“Under Another Sky should be on every shelf in the UK. Part travelogue, part handbook and part revisionist history, it is a personal and vivid encounter with landscapes, artefacts and people… Beautifully considered and written.”

Ruth Padel, New Statesman

“A delightful, effortlessly engaging handbook to the half-lost, half-glimpsed world of Roman Britain... Under Another Sky is an utterly original history, lyrically alive to the haunting presence of the past and our strange and familiar ancestors.”

Christopher Hart, Sunday Times

“In her gentle, fine prose, [Higgins] suggests convincingly that Britain was thoroughly changed by its two Roman invasions, and that modern Britain is still built on a Roman skeleton.”

Harry Mount, Daily Telegraph

“Charming, intriguing and not-infrequently elegiac... What is most impressive here, rather than either the erudition of the endeavour, is simply the writing.”

Stuart Kelly, Scotsman

“Charlotte Higgins looks at what Roman Britain meant to those who, from medieval mythographer Geoffrey of Monmouth to W.H. Auden, subsequently thought about it.”

David Robinson, Scotsman

“Lyrical, haunting look at Roman Britain and its echo in our culture.”

Sunday Times

“Delightful... There is much here to inform and amuse.”

Richard Hobbs, Evening Standard

“Part travelogue, part history, part archaeology, this multi-faceted book seeks out what is familiar – and what is not… This is an enriching and eclectic book.”

Ross Leckie, Country Life

“A thoughtful and entertaining reminder that, long before the Anglo-Saxons, the Romans gave an identity to "a land as ferocious as its people".”

Simon J V Malloch, Literary Review

“It’s a compelling travelogue and Higgins’s passion for discovery shines out.”

Emerald Street

“[She] is witty, rangy, unapologetically goofy and erudite at once.”

Lorin Stein, Paris Review

“This book will be of interest to those who want to see and learn more about a significant period in British history.”

UK Regional Press

“Higgins wears her considerable erudition lightly and nimbly hops between her knowledge of the classics and the changing perception of the ancients by the British of the past few centuries.”

Ben Felsenburg, Metro

“A very personal encounter with Roman Britain… Invites us to see our landscape and history as the Romans first imagined and wrote about them – strange and exotic islands, perched on the edge of the known world.”

UK Regional Press

“[Higgins] is as sharp and sensitive an observer of the latest version of Britannia as she is of the earliest one… Each chapter is not just a regional itinerary but also a brilliantly constructed and often exhilaratingly poetic treatment of wider themes.”

Emily Gowers, Times Literary Supplement

“Records [Higgins’] own travels around the island in search of Roman traces. She includes plenty of anecdotes about the continuing fascination with the Roman past and its penetration of the present.”

Oldie

“Higgins produced another remarkable British travelogue… that was at once thoughtful, learned, witty and superbly written.”

William Dalrymple, Observer

“Filled with passion and personal interest… Higgins walks us around the landscape of this country as it would have been 2,000 years ago, and in doing so she ably captures the spirit of Britain now, Britain then and Britain in between.”

Dan Jones, Telegraph

“Whether at Hadrian’s Wall or in a car park in the City, she [Higgins] shows how Roman traces are woven through British life.”

Financial Times

“A fascinating look at how we have viewed Rome's presence in these islands and what a debt we still owe to Roman achievements.”

Good Book Guide

“Part history, part travelogue, [Higgins] also brings to life the eccentric archaeologists who have tried to recapture that lost civilisation.”

Robbie Millen, The Times

“A fresh and readable account”

Fachtna Kelly, Sunday Business Post

“Under Another Sky is not only a work of personal history, it is more personal than that... It is conversational, anecdotal, in a way that makes it easy for [Higgins] to slip in quite a lot of information”

Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

“A delightful, effortlessly engaging handbook to the half-lost, half-glimpsed world of Roman Britain... The result is an utterly original history, lyrically alive to the haunting presence of the past and our strange and familiar ancestors”

Christopher Hart, Sunday Times

“The beauty of this book is not just in the elegant prose and in the precision with which [Higgins] skewers her myths. It is in the sympathy she shows for the myth-makers.”

Peter Stothard, The Times

“Evocative...a keen-eyed tour of Britain.”

Christopher Hirst, Independent

“Packed with fascinating and thought-provoking insights.”

Herald

“A captivating travelogue.”

Helena Gumley-Mason, Lady

“A delightfully heady and beautifully written potpourri of a book.”

BBC History Magazine

“A fascinating look at the debt we owe to Roman achievements”

Good Book Guide


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