Britain Begins

Author: Barry Cunliffe

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199609330

Category: History

Page: 553

View: 7686

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Impressive in every sense, this hugely ambitious and assured book takes as its subject the entire history of the British Isles from the end of the last Ice Age and their physical emergence as islands all the way down to the Norman Conquest. Barry Cunliffe's magisterial narrative is abetted by correspondingly high production values, and whilst complex ideas are explained with admirable clarity, making the book an ideal introduction to Britain's prehistory and early history, there would be plenty here for the most seasoned professional to enjoy and profit from. Cunliffe kicks off with an examination of the ways in which our ancestors have conceived the distant past, from medieval myths to the dawn of modern archaeology. The remainder of the book is roughly chronological in structure. Prominent themes include the 'problem of origins', where Cunliffe's own research has been of such significance (the Celtic from the west hypothesis is synthesised here with concision and flair), and the importance of communication, connectivity and cultural transmission is emphasised throughout, with the Channel, the Atlantic and the North Sea seen as highways linking Britain and Ireland to the continent and building up an ongoing narrative which is anything but narrowly insular.

Britain Begins

Author: Barry Cunliffe

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191611891

Category: History

Page: 568

View: 6671

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The last Ice Age, which came to an end about 12,000 years ago, swept the bands of hunter gatherers from the face of the land that was to become Britain and Ireland, but as the ice sheets retreated and the climate improved so human groups spread slowly northwards, re-colonizing the land that had been laid waste. From that time onwards Britain and Ireland have been continuously inhabited and the resident population has increased from a few hundreds to more than 60 million. Britain Begins is nothing less than the story of the origins of the British and the Irish peoples, from around 10,000BC to the eve of the Norman Conquest. Using the most up to date archaeological evidence together with new work on DNA and other scientific techniques which help us to trace the origins and movements of these early settlers, Barry Cunliffe offers a rich narrative account of the first islanders - who they were, where they came from, and how they interacted one with another. Underlying this narrative throughout is the story of the sea, which allowed the islanders and their continental neighbours to be in constant contact. The story told by the archaeological evidence, in later periods augmented by historical texts, satisfies our need to know who we are and where we come from. But before the development of the discipline of archaeology, people used what scraps there were, gleaned from Biblical and classical texts, to create a largely mythological origin for the British. Britain Begins also explores the development of these early myths, which show our ancestors attempting to understand their origins. And, as Cunliffe shows, today's archaeologists are driven by the same desire to understand the past - the only real difference is that we have vastly more evidence to work with.

Prehistoric Britain

Author: Timothy Darvill

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136973036

Category: Social Science

Page: 416

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Britain has been inhabited by humans for over half a million years, during which time there were a great many changes in lifestyles and in the surrounding landscape. This book, now in its second edition, examines the development of human societies in Britain from earliest times to the Roman conquest of AD 43, as revealed by archaeological evidence. Special attention is given to six themes which are traced through prehistory: subsistence, technology, ritual, trade, society, and population. Prehistoric Britain begins by introducing the background to prehistoric studies in Britain, presenting it in terms of the development of interest in the subject and the changes wrought by new techniques such as radiocarbon dating, and new theories, such as the emphasis on social archaeology. The central sections trace the development of society from the hunter-gatherer groups of the last Ice Age, through the adoption of farming, the introduction of metalworking, and on to the rise of highly organized societies living on the fringes of the mighty Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. Throughout, emphasis is given to documenting and explaining changes within these prehistoric communities, and to exploring the regional variations found in Britain. In this way the wealth of evidence that can be seen in the countryside and in our museums is placed firmly in its proper context. It concludes with a review of the effects of prehistoric communities on life today. With over 120 illustrations, this is a unique review of Britain's ancient past as revealed by modern archaeology. The revisions and updates to Prehistoric Britain ensure that this will continue to be the most comprehensive and authoritative account of British prehistory for those students and interested readers studying the subject.

The Prehistory of Britain and Ireland

Author: Richard Bradley

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139462016

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 8993

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Sited at the furthest limits of the Neolithic revolution and standing at the confluence of the two great sea routes of prehistory, Britain and Ireland are distinct from continental Europe for much of the prehistoric sequence. In this landmark 2007 study - the first significant survey of the archaeology of Britain and Ireland for twenty years - Richard Bradley offers an interpretation of the unique archaeological record of these islands based on a wealth of current and largely unpublished data. Bradley surveys the entire archaeological sequence over a 4,000 year period, from the adoption of agriculture in the Neolithic period to the discovery of Britain and Ireland by travellers from the Mediterranean during the later pre-Roman Iron Age. Significantly, this is the first modern account to treat Britain and Ireland on equal terms, offering a detailed interpretation of the prehistory of both islands.

Britain B.C.

life in Britain and Ireland before the Romans

Author: Francis Pryor

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 488

View: 2133

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On the Ocean

The Mediterranean and the Atlantic from prehistory to AD 1500

Author: Sir Barry Cunliffe

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191075345

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 8937

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For humans the sea is, and always has been, an alien environment. Ever moving and ever changing in mood, it is a place without time, in contrast to the land which is fixed and scarred by human activity giving it a visible history. While the land is familiar, even reassuring, the sea is unknown and threatening. By taking to the sea humans put themselves at its mercy. It has often been perceived to be an alien power teasing and cajoling. The sea may give but it takes. Why, then, did humans become seafarers? Part of the answer is that we are conditioned by our genetics to be acquisitive animals: we like to acquire rare materials and we are eager for esoteric knowledge, and society rewards us well for both. Looking out to sea most will be curious as to what is out there - a mysterious island perhaps but what lies beyond? Our innate inquisitiveness drives us to explore. Barry Cunliffe looks at the development of seafaring on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, two contrasting seas — the Mediterranean without a significant tide, enclosed and soon to become familiar, the Atlantic with its frightening tidal ranges, an ocean without end. We begin with the Middle Palaeolithic hunter gatherers in the eastern Mediterranean building simple vessels to make their remarkable crossing to Crete and we end in the early years of the sixteenth century with sailors from Spain, Portugal and England establishing the limits of the ocean from Labrador to Patagonia. The message is that the contest between humans and the sea has been a driving force, perhaps the driving force, in human history.

Druids: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Barry Cunliffe

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191613789

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 3710

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Who were the Druids? What do we know about them? Do they still exist today? The Druids first came into focus in Western Europe - Gaul, Britain, and Ireland - in the second century BC. They are a popular subject; they have been known and discussed for over 2,000 years and few figures flit so elusively through history. They are enigmatic and puzzling, partly because of the lack of knowledge about them has resulted in a wide spectrum of interpretations. Barry Cunliffe takes the reader through the evidence relating to the Druids, trying to decide what can be said and what can't be said about them. He examines why the nature of the druid caste changed quite dramatically over time, and how successive generations have interpreted the phenomenon in very different ways. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Victorious Century

The United Kingdom, 1800-1906

Author: David Cannadine

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 052555789X

Category: History

Page: 624

View: 2324

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Originally published in Great Britain in 2017 by Allen Lane.

The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997

Author: Piers Brendon

Publisher: Vintage Books USA

ISBN: 0307388417

Category: History

Page: 786

View: 1081

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Chronicles Britain's rise to imperial might in the wake of the American Revolution, recording life in its diverse colonies and reflecting on the inherent weaknesses of the empire, its inevitable decline, and its legacy for the present.

The Ancient Celts

Author: Barry Cunliffe

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019875292X

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 3540

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Fierce warriors and skilled craftsmen, the Celts were famous throughout the Ancient Mediterranean World. They were the archetypal barbarians from the north and were feared by both Greeks and Romans. For two and a half thousand years they have continued to fascinate those who have come into contact with them, yet their origins have remained a mystery and even today are the subject of heated debate among historians and archaeologists. Barry Cunliffe's classic study of the ancient Celtic world was first published in 1997. Since then huge advances have taken place in our knowledge: new finds, new ways of using DNA records to understand Celtic origins, new ideas about the proto-urban nature of early chieftains' strongholds. All these developments are part of this fully updated, and completely redesigned edition. Cunliffe explores the archaeological reality of these bold warriors and skilled craftsmen of barbarian Europe who inspired fear in both the Greeks and the Romans. He investigates the texts of the classical writers and contrasts their view of the Celts with current archaeological findings. Tracing the emergence of chiefdoms and the fifth- to third-century migrations as far as Bosnia and the Czech Republic, he assesses the disparity between the traditional story and the most recent historical and archaeological evidence on the Celts. Other aspects of Celtic identity such as the cultural diversity of the tribes, their social and religious systems, art, language and law, are also examined. From the picture that emerges, we are - crucially - able to distinguish between the original Celts, and those tribes which were "Celtized," giving us an invaluable insight into the true identity of this ancient people.

Britain's Royal Families

The Complete Genealogy

Author: Alison Weir

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446449114

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 6261

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Fascinating and authoritative of Britain's royal families from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I to Queen Victoria, by leading popular historian Alison Weir 'George III is alleged to have married secretly, on 17th April, 1759, a Quakeress called Hannah Lightfoot. If George III did make such a marriage...then his subsequent marriage to Queen Charlotte was bigamous, and every monarch of Britain since has been a usurper, the rightful heirs of George III being his children by Hannah Lightfoot...' Britain's Royal Families provides in one volume, complete genealogical details of all members of the royal houses of England, Scotland and Great Britain - from 800AD to the present. Drawing on countless authorities, both ancient and modern, Alison Weir explores the crown and royal family tree in unprecedented depth and provides a comprehensive guide to the heritage of today's royal family – with fascinating insight and often scandalous secrets. 'Staggeringly useful... combines solid information with tantalising appetisers.’ Mail on Sunday

Safe Passage

The Transition from British to American Hegemony

Author: Kori Schake

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674981073

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 869

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History records only one peaceful transition of hegemonic power: the passage from British to American dominance of the international order. To explain why this transition was nonviolent, Kori Schake explores nine points of crisis between Britain and the U.S., from the Monroe Doctrine to the unequal “special relationship” during World War II.

Seahenge: a quest for life and death in Bronze Age Britain

Author: Francis Pryor

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0007380828

Category: Social Science

Page: 368

View: 3454

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A lively and authoritative investigation into the lives of our ancestors, based on the revolution in the field of Bronze Age archaeology which has been taking place in Norfolk and the Fenlands over the last twenty years, and in which the author has played a central role.

Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland

Author: Bryan Sykes

Publisher: W. W. Norton

ISBN: 9780393330755

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 5574

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From the best-selling author of The Seven Daughters of Eve, a perfect book for anyone interested in the genetic history of Britain, Ireland, and America. One of the world's leading geneticists, Bryan Sykes has helped thousands find their ancestry in the British Isles. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts, which resulted from a systematic ten-year DNA survey of more than 10,000 volunteers, traces the true genetic makeup of the British Isles and its descendants, taking readers from the Pontnewydd cave in North Wales to the resting place of the Red Lady of Paviland and the tomb of King Arthur. This illuminating guide provides a much-needed introduction to the genetic history of the people of the British Isles and their descendants throughout the world.

Think of England

Author: Martin Parr

Publisher: Phaidon Incorporated Limited

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 125

View: 7835

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England has been a key subject of Magnum photographer Martin Parr's work since he started taking pictures. Think of Englandis a comic, opinionated, affectionately satirical, colour-saturated photo-essay about the identity of England. As Scotland and Wales consolidate their status as nations and Great Britain begins to unravel, this book of new work contributes to the debate about what it means to be English. Quintessentially English himself, Parr's great achievement as a photographer is his ability to transform the obvious into the surprising, reinventing clichés of Englishness as provocative revelations. His tour of obvious England takes in Ascot and the charity shop, seaside resorts, herbaceous borders, the bring-and-buy stall, cucumber sandwiches and cups of tea, baked beans and bad footwear. Parr's work has already added to the visual vocabulary of England; this book, his first specifically on the subject of England, stretches it further. Simultaneously affectionate and brutally direct, all the photographs are shot with a ring flash camera (more usually used for medical photographs), which has been his medium of choice for the last four years.

Duel of Eagles

The Struggle for the Skies from the First World War to the Battle of Britain

Author: Peter Townsend

Publisher: Castle

ISBN: 9780785815686

Category: History

Page: 456

View: 3365

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Dogfights in the sky, ruthless political maneuvers, legendary heroes of the air like Richthofen (the "Red Baron") and Douglas Bader, this book combines all of these colorful, dramatic, and evocative accounts of the furious air conflicts that saved Britain from German invasion.

By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean

The Birth of Eurasia

Author: Barry Cunliffe

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199689172

Category: Civilization

Page: 530

View: 5192

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By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean is nothing less than the story of how humans first started building the globalized world we know today. Set on a huge continental stage, from Europe to China, it is a tale covering over 10,000 years, from the origins of farming around 9000 BC to the expansion of the Mongols in the thirteenth century AD. An unashamedly 'big history', it charts the development of European, Near Eastern, and Chinesecivilizations and the growing links between them by way of the Indian Ocean, the silk Roads, and the great steppe corridor (which crucially allowed horse riders to travel from Mongolia to the Great Hungarian Plainwithin a year). Along the way, it is also the story of the rise and fall of empires, the development of maritime trade, and the shattering impact of predatory nomads on their urban neighbours. Above all, as this immense historical panorama unfolds, we begin to see in clearer focus those basic underlying factors - the acquisitive nature of humanity, the differing environments in which people live, and the dislocating effect of even slight climatic variation - which havedriven change throughout the ages, and which help us better understand our world today.

Inglorious Empire

What the British Did to India

Author: Shashi Tharoor

Publisher: Penguin Classics

ISBN: 9780141987149

Category: Great Britain

Page: 288

View: 8975

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The Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller on India's experience of British colonialism, by the internationally-acclaimed author and diplomat Shashi Tharoor 'Tharoor's impassioned polemic slices straight to the heart of the darkness that drives all empires ... laying bare the grim, and high, cost of the British Empire for its former subjects. An essential read' Financial Times In the eighteenth century, India's share of the world economy was as large as Europe's. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. The Empire blew rebels from cannon, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalised racism, and caused millions to die from starvation. British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Shashi Tharoor takes demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial 'gift' - from the railways to the rule of law - was designed in Britain's interests alone. He goes on to show how Britain's Industrial Revolution was founded on India's deindustrialisation, and the destruction of its textile industry. In this bold and incisive reassessment of colonialism, Tharoor exposes to devastating effect the inglorious reality of Britain's stained Indian legacy.