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Publisher's Summary

In this, the first volume of an epic history of Britain, one of the most popular and celebrated historians of our day brings the birth and growth of a nation to dramatic life with a wealth of compelling stories and vivid detail.

Simon Schama's narrative moves from the early tribes and invasions of the British isles to the Norman Conquest; through the religious wars and turbulence of the Middle Ages to the sovereignties of Henry II, Richard I, and King John; through the outbreak of the Black Death, which destroyed nearly half of Europe's population; through the reign of Edward I and the growth of national identity in Wales and Scotland; to the turbulent religious and dynastic conflicts of the Tudor age, culminating in the glorious reign of Elizabeth I. The theme of change - sometimes gentle and subtle, sometimes shocking and violent - emerges as the narrative's most powerful dynamic change that washes over custom and habit, transforming loyalties and boundaries.

A History of Britain also poses questions that have universal timeless resonance. What makes or breaks a nation? To whom do you give your allegiance and why? Where do the roots of your community lie - in your hearth and home, your village or city, your tribe, your faith? And, finally, what is Britain? One country or many, one culture or several? This is a touchstone for the present that reintroduces you to the past with stunning energy and clarity.

This is Volume 1 of A History of Britain. Don't miss Volume 2.

Don't miss Simon Schama, Clive James, Bernard-Henri Levy, and Anna Deavere Smith talking about art and politics at The New Yorker Festival.
©2000 Simon Schama (P)2000 BBC Worldwide

Critic Reviews

  • Nominee for Audio Publishers Association 2001 Audie Award, Audio, Licensed or Distributed

Potent and compelling. (AudioFile)

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