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in Search of England: Journeys Into the English Past - Michael Wood

Viking, 1999, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Top edge of the dust wrapper a little rubbed. Price Clipped. Text complete, clean and tight.

Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Colour Photographs;

From the cover: “Where does the idea of England and Englishness come from? Are there particular moments in the Dark and Middle Ages when we can see it begin to develop? How is being English different from being British?

In 1113, French priests on a fund-raising tour were told by a crowd in front of St Petroc’s Church, Bodmin, that Arthur would one day return and ‘Britain would rise again’. When they expressed scepticism, a near-riot broke out. The Arthur myth was then already established. But how had it gained credence? And is there any truth at its core?

In his new book, Michael Wood examines this and other fascinating questions concerning Robin Hood, Alfred the Great, King Athelstan and the idea of the Norman Yoke. Peeling back the layers of literary and oral material that have accumulated over the years to separate fact from fiction, Wood demonstrates the fascinating build-up of a series of rich ideas — part history, part myth — that have contributed to the sense of what it means to be English.

In the third part of In Search of England, Michael Wood writes about particular places that illuminate aspects of early England and whose stories resonate through history: Tinsley Wood, near Sheffield, which has been claimed as the site of Athelstan’s great victory against the Celts in 937; a farmhouse in Devon which has seen continuity of occupation since Domesday and possibly long before; and the village of Peatling Magna in Leicestershire, scene of an extraordinary confrontation with the King in 1265. These are the places and the events that offer a rooted, complementary version of the history that is discussed earlier in the book.

In Search of England is published at a significant moment. As we move into the new millennium and as the various countries that make up the United Kingdom begin to assert their own identities, it offers a potent and revealing account of the origins of Englishness and the ‘Matter of Britain’.”

Size: 9½" x 6¼". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XVI] 336 pages.

This one has already found a new owner.