BBC reprint 2000
small 4to, black boards with silver titling to spine VG++/VG++ 1345 gms
(Order reference 15619)
Change - sometimes gentle and subtle, sometimes shocking and violent - is the dynamic of Schama's unapologetically personal and grippingly written history, especially the changes that wash over custom and habit, transforming our loyalties. At the heart of his history lie questions of compelling importance for Britain's future as well as its past: What makes or breaks a nation? To whom do we give our allegiance and why? And where do the boundaries of our community lie - in our hearth and home, our village or city, tribe or faith? What is Britain - one country or many, one culture or several? Has British history unfolded 'at the edge of the world' or right at the heart of it? All these themes are delivered to the reader in the stories which Schama loves to tell, and in a form that is at once traditional and excitingly fresh. The great and the wicked are here - Becket and Thomas Cromwell, Robert the Bruce and Anne Boleyn - but so are countless more ordinary lives: an Irish monk waiting for the plague to kill him in his cell at Kilkenny; a small boy running through the streets of London to catch a glimpse of Elizabeth I. They are all caught on the rich and teeming canvas on which Schama paints his brilliant portrait of the life of the British people: 'for in the end, history especially British history with its succession of thrilling illuminations, should be, as all her most accomplished narrators have promised, not just instruction but pleasure'.