What has 'Roman Britain' meant to the British people since the Romans left? And what does Roman Britain mean to us now? How has it been reimagined, in story and song and verse? Charlotte Higgins leads us through the history, and by using some of Britain's most intriguing ancient monuments, Under Another Sky invites us to see the British landscape, and history, in an entirely fresh way.
©2013 Charlotte Higgins (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd
"An utterly original history, lyrically alive to the haunting presence of the past and our strange and familiar ancestors." ( Sunday Times)"Mesmerising. Sophisticated and passionate. She personalizes the story in a diaristic, almost poetic tone." (Guardian)
The author makes clear early on that this isn't a look at "how" Roman Britons lived on a day-to-day basis, as much as an examination how of those centuries fit in with (relate to) British history and identity. For example, there's an assumption that the island was entirely Caucasian at the time, when it's clear from testing remains that multi-racial residents with origins across the Empire were far from rare. Tough to explain exactly, but my point is that the author doesn't go from site to site dwelling on artifacts for an extrapolated picture of what the area was probably like back then.
Excellent audio narration brings the adventure to life.
Probably not. The subject matter is of interest but the narrator's voice does not do justice to the material.
Can't think of any.
She drops her voice at the end of sentences, swallows words frequently and attempts very unsatisfactorily to imitate male voices. She may be successful with some types of fiction but certainly not with a book like this one.
Perhaps to read the book so that I can appreciate it more fully.
"A readable and entertaining guide to Roman Britain"
How we endured lost and found the Romans in Britain
Mary Beard's fabulous book on Pompeii: just as good though the subject matter is less well known and the archaeology is far less complete.
No, but I will look out for her.
Richly textured, colourful, poignant stories about the people and the landscape, and the archaeologists who revealed them to us.
I know the Lake District pretty well, but mainly from the perspective of a walker or through the eyes of artists like Wordsworth or Ruskin, but I've never really appreciated the Roman dimension to the area. I shall be taking a paperback edition with me when I visit soon, plus another author whom Charlotte Higgins recommends.
"Compelling narrative of Roman Britain"
I listened to the book while hiking Hadrian's Wall in the hopes that it would help bring some of Roman Britain to life for me as I walked. It did just that. I wasn't sure what to expect and was pleased to find that Charlotte Higgins' approach was to take the reader on her own journey around Britain as she explored it's Roman history. Rather than a scholarly writing of facts and dates, she unfolded the Roman timeline through visits to specific sites and the sharing of interesting stories, theories and anecdotes. It was a great way to explore the topic of Roman Britain as an amateur, interested in the broad story rather then focusing too heavily on an academic study of history.
Yes. A book on Roman Britain could be a bit dry but this isn't. Charlotte Higgins takes us on a tour, area by area, looking at the remaining traces of the Romans. She tells us who they were and how they lived but also how subsequent generations have been influenced by them. Interspersed are tales of the archaeologists and historians who study the Romans in the past and they were an eccentric bunch.
Hard to pick out one but perhaps the stories of Roman towns that have disappeared completely. They are quite poignant.
The camper van Charlotte and her boyfriend travelled round in. Or didn't, when it kept breaking down.
I listened to this book while completing the Hadrian's Wall Walk. The Romans were brought to life by it. To be walking where they were stationed, guarding the border, and hearing snippets of their letters was amazing.
It's made me want to find out more about an area of history I had little interest in before.
Charlotte Higgins has written a book which is part history, part historiography, part travelogue, part personal memoir, and on the face of it that shouldn't work nearly as well as it should. But she conjures up the scenes and the experience of visiting these places so vividly that I found myself listening to this more than once, just for the pleasure of the experience. Hearing her impressions of the places I've not seen made me hungry to go there, while the stories of those I have been to made we want to visit them again.
All complemented very well by Julia Franklin's excellent voice work.
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