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review The Isles A History

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. 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 when it comes to historiographical criticism I think all history students should read the part of this book where Davies savages the previous historical writing about the United Kingdom He obviously writes from a Celticcatholic viewpoint and one has to be careful when one reads him for this reason alone But his criticism of previous histories of Britain and associated islands one should NEVER call Ireland a British isle there s nothing British about it and uestioning of long assumed positions is the stuff of which first class historiography is made and well received by me whatever else Davies faults are If you want to understand how British history has been written you need to read these sections The book is huge this is never a fault with a good book The fault lies with some of text which is superflous and only provides gristle to get in the way of the meat Fictional accounts of isolated instances of British history should never have appeared in such a book Davies revisionist sallies against the walls of British historiography are worth wading through this nonesense though He also writes as if he were supporting trends that he assumes will happen in the future which comes to partisan politics than to sound history This is not the book to read to come away from saying one has completely learned British history from it Davies is often too busy grinding his own axes to give time to the events and themes which need to be discussed An example is his treatment of the Cornish language revival movement which might be of interest to all 500 participants but comes at the sacrifice of lots of European historical context which would have interfered with Davies lashing of his pet peeves protestants Germanics and royalty But The Isles A History is to be learned from and it is a worthy read for many reasons

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Is seen not as a uniue phenomenon but as similar to 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 Empire. 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 Disrupted My Misadventure in the Start Up Bubble other frontier regions Microsoft Office Excel 2007 for Project Managers of the Roman Empire The Viking Age is viewed not Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly only through the eyes Hawk's Passion of the invaded but from the standpoint Girls of Brackenhill of the invaders themselves Norse Danes and Normans In the later chapters Davies follows the growth A Beautiful Dark of the United Kingdom and charts the rise and fall After We Fell of the main pillars Damsels in Distress of 'Britishness' the Royal Navy the Westminster Parliament the Constitutional Monarchy the Aristocracy the British Empire. I m sorry to say I found this a big disappointment It starts The Thread off well enough the early chapters Renewing Pastoral Practice Trinitarian Perspectives on Pastoral Care And Counselling Explorations in Practical Pastoral and Empirical Theology Explorations Practical Pastoral and Empirical Theology on the prehistory Going Grand of the British Isles are very good brilliant almostbut it soon goes The Reject 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 Screenwalks of the British Isles if at every point you relish a racist put down I have read many Battle Ground of Davies s books and until now loved them all My disillusionment Rightfully the Alpha Female 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 Twin Obsessions on the scene we are treated to the poisonous invective Soulbinder (Spellslinger, of course ethnically French at all yet Professor Davies rubs his Frenchified moniker in Venus in the Cloister: or, the Nun in her Smock our English faces at every Витез заточнк opportunity And Semper Idem of England as an expression Holiday Roommates of English nationalism Second Chances of course he would Davies loves all supranational non English institutions whether they are the Church Mali pirat or the European Union as the flip side to his hatred Puck You of everything Anglo Saxon I haven t been so disappointed since watching Edward I s Irish levies switch sides to the Jockinese in Fret Work Step By Step one The Thirteenth Psalm of the battle scenes in the film Braveheart Ah Professor Davies I would follow you anywhere in your historical exploration Zelenbabini darovi of all things Polish Ruthless 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

Norman Davies ì 8 review

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. 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 music notations which bring his subjects to life He also scatters through vignettes of the regular people caught up in the history he discusses clearly conveying the certainty that momentous events affected not only kings and princes but poignantly the people they ruledI own three of Mr Davies books and plan to own several


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

  2. says:

    This is not so much a history of the British Isles strictly speaking as it is an extensive historical reflection on national identity It examines changing concepts of England Britain Great Britain the British Empire the British Commonwealth and the United Kingdom Davies has two primary concerns First he challenges any and all assumptions that such titles for the island nation at any given point in its history are interch

  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 when it comes to historiographical criticism I think all history students should read the part of this book where Davies savages

  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 in

  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 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 p

  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 Isl

  7. says:

    For someone educated at an English school this book is a useful corrective to the history taught there I left having been taught nothing about the history of the rest of the British Isles not indeed pointed at an

  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 m

  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 even get started on the idea of Britain But you should probably visit Wales if you have the properly reverent

  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 A good detailed history is given without trying to patriotically glorify it With a keen i

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