Published: March 2012
The first volume in a new six-part history of England from acclaimed author Peter Ackroyd.
Having written enthralling biographies of London and of its great river, the Thames, Peter Ackroyd now turns to England itself. This first volume of six takes us from the time that England was first settled, more than 15,000 years ago, to the death in 1509 of the first Tudor monarch, Henry VII.
In it, Ackroyd takes us from Neolithic England, which we can only see in the most tantalising glimpses - a stirrup found in a grave, some seeds at the bottom of a bowl - to the long period of Roman rule; from the Dark Ages when England was invaded by a ceaseless tide of Angles, Saxons and Jutes, to the twin glories of medieval England - its great churches and monasteries and its common law. With his extraordinary skill for evoking time and place, he tells the familiar story of king succeeding king in rich prose, with profound insight and some surprising details. The food we ate, the clothes we wore, the punishments we endured, even the jokes we told are all found here, too.
PRAISE FOR THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND SERIES
"Ackroyd's trademark insight and wit, and the glorious interconnectedness of all things, permeate each page"Observer
"Ackroyd writes with such lightly worn erudition and a deceptive ease that he never fails to engage" Daily Telegraph
"In pages of limpid detail, Ackroyd makes history accessible to the layman" Ian Thomson, Independent