A historical exploration of the myths, legends, and events that have shaped the English identity examines the tales surrounding King Arthur, Robin Hood, Alfred the Great, and others to offer revealing insights about the beginnings of English culture.
Passionate, affectionate and indefatigably curious, In Search of England joins a tradition of writing, from William Cobbett to JB Priestley, that makes a journey around the English countryside and character. England is the most various of countries; within its borders, life changes mile on mile. Roy Hattersley celebrates crumbling churches and serene Victorian architecture, magnificent hills and wind-whipped coast, our music, theatre and local customs, and, above all, the quirky good humour and resilience of England's denizens. In Search of England is an unapologetic love story, a paean of praise for all the fascinating variety and flavour of England's places and people.
In 1086, Domesday Book, perhaps the most remarkable historical document in existence, was compiled. This tremendous story of England and its people was made at the behest of the Norman king William the Conqueror. It was called Domesday, the day of judgement, because 'like the day of judgement, its decisions are unalterable'. In Search of the Roots of England is not only a study of the ancient manuscript but an attempt to analyse the world that Domesday Book so vividly portrayed. By skilful use of the Domesday record historian Michael Wood examines Norman society and the Anglo-Saxon, Roman, and even the Iron Age cultures that preceded it. 'Wood is a perceptive, entertaining and enthusiastic companion.' Sunday Times 'Wood is a lively storyteller.' Washington Post
A book by H. V. Morton is more than a travel book: it is a sensitive interpretation of a country's people and their history. The success of his first book on England, established the popularity of something new and refreshing in this type of literature. Mr Morton's travels have gained him thousands of readers in all parts of the world. The author has frequently been requested to define the secret of writing a travel book. He always replies: 'There is no secret. You either enjoy yourself or you do not. If you do, say so; if you do not - say so!' This disarming sincerity is, perhaps, responsible for the charm and fascination of his books. The feel and smell of the countryside, also a sense of movement, find their way into these light-hearted wanderings, and, combined with humour, acute observation, sympathy and an engaging curiosity, have justly gained for them a wide and increasing popularity. Contents Include: I Go in Search of Scotland - I Explore Edinburgh - I See the Castle of Roslin - Tells how I go on Through Rain to Lochleven - In Which I Climb into the Highlands - I Describe a Mystery of Aberdeen - Describes a Sincere Scottish Breakfast - In Which I Work East to West - I Go by Sea to Sky - How I Break the Sabbath - I Sail up the Clyde into Glasgow - In Which I Encounter Men Who Melt Steel
What buried secret lies beneath the stones of one of England's greatest former churches and shrines, the Benedictine Abbey of Bury St Edmunds? As Edmund: In Search of England's Lost King suggests, present obscurity may conceal a find as significant as the emergence from beneath a Leicester car-park of the remains of Richard III. For Bury, Francis Young now reveals, is the probable site of the body - placed in an `iron chest' but lost during the Dissolution of the Monasteries - of Edmund: martyred monarch of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia and, well before St George, England's first patron saint. After the king was slain by marauding Vikings in the 9th century, the legend which grew up around his murder led to the foundation in Bury of one of the pre-eminent shrines of Christendom. In showing how Edmund became the pivotal figure around whom Saxons, Danes and Normans all rallied, this fascinating book points to the imminent rediscovery of the ruler who created England.
A Northerner in exile, Stuart Maconie goes on a journey in search of the North, attempting to discover where the clichés end and the truth begins. He travels from Wigan Pier to Blackpool Tower and Newcastle's Bigg Market to the Lake District to find his own Northern Soul, encountering along the way an exotic cast of chippy Scousers, pie-eating woollybacks, topless Geordies, mad-for-it Mancs, Yorkshire nationalists and brothers in southern exile. The bestselling Pies and Prejudice is a hugely enjoyable journey around the north of England.