The British Isles: A History of Four Nations

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 24, 1995 - History - 324 pages
This is a unique account of the British Isles from pre-Roman times to the twentieth century, distinguished by its stress on the fact that English history forms only part of a wider "history of four nations." To ignore this wider dimension is to distort our view of the past and hinder our understanding of the present. Wide-ranging, the book transforms and challenges traditional accounts of what constitutes national history.

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It is no coincidence that, even by the reckoning of the OED, the first recorded use of British Isles in the English language is by the English imperialist John Dee in 1577 when making a Tudor claim to Ireland. One has to wonder how anybody who would like to be treated as a serious, impartial historian basing history on facts could use that contrived British jingoistic term to include Ireland. It instantly confines the work to the realms of British nationalist irredentism and is the latest attempt of many to strip Ireland of its Irishness, of its difference, and shove the Irish and Ireland into a British nationalist framework. The very title of this book is a statement of the outdated British imperialist politics of the author which lie at the heart of the context he has deliberately chosen for this book.  


The Celtic societies of the British Isles
The impact of Rome on the British Isles
The postRoman centuries
The vikings and the fall of the Old Order
The Norman ascendancy
The decline of the NormanFrench empire
The making of an English empire
The remaking of an empire
The Britannic melting pot
The rise of ethnic politics
Between the wars
Withdrawal from empire
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Page 2 - England is based upon the tact that her frontiers against Europe are drawn by Nature, and cannot be the subject of dispute; that she is a unit sufficiently small for coherent government to have been established and maintained even under very primitive conditions; that since 1066 she has never suffered serious invasion...

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