Robert Tombs's momentous The English and Their History is both a startlingly fresh and a uniquely inclusive account of the people who have a claim to be the oldest nation in the world. The English first came into existence as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. They have lasted as a recognizable entity ever since, and their defining national institutions can be traced back to the earliest years of their history.
The English have come a long way from those first precarious days of invasion and conquest, with many spectacular changes of fortune. Their political, economic, and cultural contacts have left traces for good and ill across the world. This book describes their history and its meanings, from their beginnings in the monasteries of Northumbria and the wetlands of Wessex to the cosmopolitan energy of today's England. Tombs draws out important threads running through the story, including participatory government, language, law, religion, the land and the sea, and ever-changing relations with other peoples.
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"This broad, sweeping history of the English from their earliest period to the present is a fascinating audiobook read by James Langton, his voice flowing steadily and fluidly for 43 hours. Topics include the mythology of England's beginnings--including King Arthur, Boudica, Beowulf, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight--and moving through Shakespeare, Gibbon, and Churchill. Political and military history is interspersed with discussions of cultural, social, and linguistic changes. From the Roman period through the Norman Conquest in 1066 and into the contemporary period through 2014, this history touches on information both familiar and new. Langton narrates intuitively using natural phrasing, fluid tones, and precise British enunciation. His narration is perfect for this contemporary view of the island nation that has influenced almost everything and everyone throughout the world. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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