A Short History of England
In 1086 the Domesday Book, perhaps the most remarkable historical document in existence, was compiled. This tremendous survey of England and its people was made at the behest of the Norman, William the Conqueror. Michael Wood's Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England is a study of the ancient manuscript and an attempt to analyse the world that the Domesday Book portrayed. He uses the Domesday record to examine Norman society, and also to penetrate beyond it to the Anglo-Saxon, Roman and Iron Age cultures that preceded it. Michael Wood is also author of In Search of the Dark Ages and In Search of the Trojan War.
"From ancient times to the present day, the story of England has been laced with drama, intrigue, courage, and passion-a rich and vibrant narrative of heroes and villains, kings and rebels, artists and highwaymen, bishops and scientists. Now, in Great Tales from English History, Robert Lacey captures some of the most pivotal moments: the stories and extraordinary characters that helped shape a nation. This first volume begins in 7150 BC with the intriguing life and death of Cheddar Man and ends in 1381 with Wat Tyler and the Peasants' Revolt. We meet the Greek navigator Pytheas, whose description of the woad-painted Celts yielded pretannik ('the land of the painted people'), which became the Latin word Britannia. We learn what the storytellers really meant when they described Lady Godiva's 'nakedness.'And we discover the truth behind the tales of King Arthur and the infamous Hobbehod, later to be known as 'Robin Hood.'"
Part of a series.
Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain--which is to say, all of it. Every last bit of it, good and bad--old churches, country lanes, people saying 'Mustn't grumble' and 'I'm terribly sorry but,' people apologizing to me when I conk them with a careless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast, haymaking in June, seaside piers, Ordinance Survey maps, tea and crumpets, summer showers and foggy winter evenings--every bit of it.
"After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson, the acclaimed author of such bestsellers as The Mother Tongue and Made in America, decided it was time to move back to the United States for a while. This was partly to let his wife and kids experience life in Bryson's homeland--and partly because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another. It was thus clear to him that his people needed him.
"But before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of modern-day Britain, and to analyze what he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite, zebra crossings, and place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey, and Shellow Bowells."
Also available on audio.
Following in the footsteps of historic figures and writers, Horan reveals the many dimensions, social and cultural, of a city where tradition and modernity interconnect. From the quadrangles and chapels of the university center to the multicultural bustle of the Cowley Road, he explores both the historic and contemporary faces of Oxford. Maps and illustrations.
Part of the Cities of the Imagination series.
"From the vibrant streets of London to the magnificent medieval castles of Wales, and on to the haunting glens of the Scottish Highlands, embark on an unforgettable grand tour of Britain at the dawn of the new millennium. By the creators of the highly successful Eyewitness Travel Guides. Portrait of Britain takes you on a provocative visual journey from bustling cities to windswept mountain ranges, focusing on every aspect of British heritage. It is both a practical travel companion and a superb pictorial souvenir. Britain in color. Portrait of Britain is packed with over 2,000 specially commissioned photographs, many of them reproduced as full--page images, presenting an unforgettable picture of England, Scotland, and Wales on the eve of the 21st century. In--depth features examine Britain's varied landscapes region by region, and highlight British history and culture, including the clans and tartans of Scotland, the role of the aristocracy, and the Industrial Revolution. Information at a glance.
"This beautifully presented book offers comprehensive information on places of interest throughout Britain, including historic towns, cities, cathedrals, castles, palaces, stately homes, museums, and galleries. It uses dramatic cutaway artwork and aerial drawings to give fascinating 3--D impressions of famous buildings and bird's--eye views of street plans in large--format detail. A visual celebration. From sleepy Cotswold villages to the nightlife of London's West End, from the wilds of the Yorkshire moors to the elegance of Georgian Bath, Portrait of Britain is an invaluable introduction to Britain's countryside and wildlife, architecture and art, customs and culture. Unparalleled in its portrayal of the diversity of sights to be found throughout the country, it contains thousands of ideas for places to visit. And for those who prefer to journey from Land's End to John O'Groats without leaving home, it also serves as a visual celebration of all that Britain has to offer."
"When Edward VI died in 1553, the extraordinary fact was that there was no one left to claim the title of king of England. For the first time, England would have a reigning queen, but the question was which one: Katherine of Aragon's daughter, Mary; Anne Boleyn's daughter, Elizabeth; or one of their cousins, Lady Jane Grey or Mary, Queen of Scots.
"But female rule in England also had a past. Four hundred years before Edward's death, Matilda, daughter of Henry I and granddaughter of William the Conqueror, came tantalizingly close to securing the crown for herself. And between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries three more exceptional women -- Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, and Margaret of Anjou -- discovered how much was possible if presumptions of male rule were not confronted so explicitly, and just how quickly they might be vilified as 'she-wolves' for their pains. The stories of these women, told here in all their vivid detail, expose the paradox that female heirs to the Tudor throne had no choice but to negotiate. Man was the head of woman, and the king was the head of all. How, then, could royal power lie in female hands?"
"...a probing, irreverent, and immensely colorful look at the meaning of Englishness.
"Not so long ago, everybody knew who the English were. They were 'polite, unexcitable, reserved, and had hot-water bottles instead of a sex life.' As the dominant culture in a country that dominated an empire that dominated the world, they had little need to examine themselves and ask who they were. But something has happened.
"A new self-confidence seems to have taken hold in Wales and Scotland, while many try to forge a new relationship with Europe. The English are being forced to ask what it is that makes them who they are. Is there such a thing as an English race? What inviolable English traits remain to win the affection of Anglophiles, raise the ire of Anglo-critics, and pique the curiosity of Anglo-watchers here and abroad?
"Witty, surprising, affectionate, and incisive, The English traces the invention of Englishness to its current crisis and concludes that, for all their characteristic gloom about themselves, the English may have developed a form of nationalism for the twenty-first century."
"A time machine has just transported you back to the fourteenth century. What do you see? How do you dress? Where will you stay? How do you earn a living and how much are you paid? What sort of food will you be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? This is not your typical look at a historical period. This radical new approach shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. All facets of the everyday lives of serf, merchant, and aristocrat in this fascinating period are revealed, from the horrors of the plague and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and medieval haute couture."