READ ☆ The Isles A History

CHARACTERS The Isles A History

Written by one of the most brilliant and provocative historians at work today The Isles is a revolutionary narrative history that presents a new perspective on the development of Britain and Ireland looking at them not as self contained islands but as an inextricable part of EuropeThis richly layered history begins with the Celtic Supremacy in the last centuries BC which is presented in the light of a Celtic world stretching all the way from Iberia to Asia Minor Roman Britain is seen. I love a history book any book really that makes you look at the world differently when you re finished with it I love a book even that stays with you long after you have put it back on the shelf and like a favourite friend you can t resist popping back to to look up something anything just to pick the book up againI consider myself fairly well versed in the history or as Mr Davies would say the histories of my islands but that was before reading The Isles It is a work of great sensitivity at times iconoclastic sometimes witty often incisive invariably trenchant Considering the centrifugal forces currently at work in the United Kingdom reading this book with its lessons culled from over two thousand years of history helps to put things in some perspective starting with the concept of identity Considering as well the vast span of time it covers it retains its pace its rhythm and its relevance to today s events There is also a fine set of maps and other appendices like timelines chronologies genealogies photos even sheet musicSo much of this book is about identity what it is where it comes from who makes it what happens to it over time In a way it is interesting this is such a treasured book to me as it does merrily explode conceptions of what it means to be British while exposing the debris of that identity to another that of being European To be European is another identity or layer of identity that I respect and cherish Having lived and worked in countries that could not resist their own centrifugal forces and that span themselves to their own often messy destruction my instinct is to resist any moves to deconstruct my own country Having lived and worked on Europe s borders I see it first from the outside in and thus I see it as something of a haven something to be aspired to Again not something these days that many of my co citizens of this European project would easily relate toThe Isles is something of a balm to that feeling of being adrift or at least it helps to put it in perspective Far from being set in stone the islands that make up the United Kingdom have always been a site and source of innovation and inspiration to those who live there and I hope they always will be

FREE READ ¸ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ñ Norman Davies

The Isles A History

Empire and the English LanguageThis holistic approach challenges the traditional nationalist picture of a thousand years of eternal England a uniue country formed at an early date by Anglo Saxon kings which evolved in isolation and except for the Norman Conuest was only marginally affected by continental affairs The result is a new picture of the Isles one of four countries England Ireland Scotland and Wales constantly buffeted by continental storms and repeatedly transformed by them. Everything you know about British history is wrong unless your name is Norman Davies The heck with There will always be an England according to Davies there never was an England The very idea of England is a whiggish plot And don t even get started on the idea of Britain But you should probably visit Wales if you have the properly reverent attitudeA clearly written and enjoyable one man s view type of history

Norman Davies ñ 9 READ

Not as a uniue phenomenon but as similar to The Isles PDFEPUB or the other frontier regions of the Roman Empire The Viking Age is viewed not only through the eyes of the invaded but from the standpoint of the invaders themselves Norse Danes and Normans In the later chapters Davies follows the growth of the United Kingdom and charts the rise and fall of the main pillars of 'Britishness' the Royal Navy the Westminster Parliament the Constitutional Monarchy the Aristocracy the British. I m sorry to say I found this a big disappointment It starts off well enough the early chapters on the prehistory of the British Isles are very good brilliant almostbut it soon goes off and gets so progressively bad that in the end I couldn t finish it The problem is that Professor Davies hates the English and it really isn t possible to write a decent history of the British Isles if at every point you relish a racist put down I have read many of Davies s books and until now loved them all My disillusionment on finding that someone I have loved and admired actually hates me and all my tribe is therefore hugely upsetting Until the English actually arrive the hatred is concealed but the moment Hengist and Horsa swing on the scene we are treated to the poisonous invective of a seasoned Anglophobe It didn t have to be like this Jean Sans Terre as none of his subjects called King John was no a Frenchman than I am the Normans or Northmen were not of course ethnically French at all yet Professor Davies rubs his Frenchified moniker in our English faces at every opportunity And of course he hates the Church of England as an expression of English nationalism of course he would Davies loves all supranational non English institutions whether they are the Church of Rome or the European Union as the flip side to his hatred of everything Anglo Saxon I haven t been so disappointed since watching Edward I s Irish levies switch sides to the Jockinese in one of the battle scenes in the film Braveheart Ah Professor Davies I would follow you anywhere in your historical exploration of all things Polish or eastern European but in this book alas the cloven hoof peeps from under your Welsh hose and you show yourself to be just another chippy Celt


10 thoughts on “The Isles A History

  1. says:

    I love a history book any book really that makes you look at the world differently when you're finished with it I love a book even that stays with you long after you have put it back on the shelf and like a favourite friend you can't resist popping back to to look up something anything just to pick the book up againI consider myself fairly well versed in the history or as Mr Davies would say the 'histories' of my islands but that was before

  2. says:

    This is not so much a history of the British Isles strictly speaking as it is an extensive historical reflection on national identit

  3. says:

    I don't like Norman Davies but I have to give this book at least 4 stars Davies is another revisionist historian but unlike most he gives good justification for most of his revisions and is a first rate historian w

  4. says:

    A history of the British Isles and it's peoples from a non anglo centric perspective Many British people let alone foreigners don't understand the difference between Great Britain the United Kingdom and England believing them to be interchan

  5. says:

    I’m sorry to say I found this a big disappointment It starts off well enough – the early chapters on the prehistory of the British Isles are very good brilliant almostbut it soon goes off and gets so progressively bad that in the end I co

  6. says:

    I got this book cheaply 10 US dollars at a Half Price bookstore list price was 1999 pounds which is about 30 US dollars without any idea of how good it was I had no significant knowledge of the history of Britian or the Isles but hoped to lea

  7. says:

    For someone educated at an English school this book is a useful corrective to the history taught there I left hav

  8. says:

    Mr Davies does a delightful job of bringing history to life in his clear concise writing style and attention to detail Rather than an endless drone of dates and figures this book is full of rich illustrations maps charts and even musi

  9. says:

    Everything you know about British history is wrong unless your name is Norman Davies The heck with There will always be an England according to Davies there never was an England The very idea of England is a whiggish plot And don't ev

  10. says:

    A good informative read hard to put down I have read Norman Davies before and have found him to be a solid unbiased author