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£12.99
Published
3 November 2020
HB
9781910400692
Ebook
Press Release
Coming soon.
 

In his bestselling, internationally-acclaimed The Shortest History of Germany, Hawes told the story of a nation in 240 invigorating pages, tracing the roots of today’s challenges back to the first encounters with Rome. In The Shortest History of England, he takes the same approach to his homeland. As he journeys from Caesar to Brexit via Conquest, Empire and World War, he discovers an England very different to the standard vision. Our stable island fortress, stubbornly independent, the begetter of parliaments and globe-spanning empires, is riven by an ancient fault-line that predates even the Romans; its fate has ever been bound up with that of its neighbours, whether we like it or not; and – for the past 1,000 years – it has harboured a class system like nowhere else on Earth. There has never been a better time to understand why England is the way it is – and there is no better guide.

Old Street Publishing The Shortest History of England

In his bestselling, internationally-acclaimed The Shortest History of Germany, Hawes told the story of a nation in 240 invigorating pages, tracing the roots of today’s challenges back to the first encounters with Rome. In The Shortest History of England, he takes the same approach to his homeland. As he journeys from Caesar to Brexit via Conquest, Empire and World War, he discovers an England very different to the standard vision. Our stable island fortress, stubbornly independent, the begetter of parliaments and globe-spanning empires, is riven by an ancient fault-line that predates even the Romans; its fate has ever been bound up with that of its neighbours, whether we like it or not; and – for the past 1,000 years – it has harboured a class system like nowhere else on Earth. There has never been a better time to understand why England is the way it is – and there is no better guide.

12.99
 
 

'No one writes history as well as James Hawes or uses the past to make sense of the present so skillfully. This is an urgent and electrifying work that takes you to the heart of England's sickness. Do yourself a favour and read it.'
Nick Cohen

 
 
  • ‘Comprehensive and vivid… I don’t know of a better short history of this great country.'
    Philip Pullman
  • ‘A sparkling little book, which really does begin at the beginning…might be slipped into a prime ministerial red box.’
    Standpoint
  • ‘Excellent… Hawes knows what he’s on about and his conclusions are measured, but he favours clear, concise prose over dense academese. He has a sense of humour, and a sharp eye for similarities between then and now.’
    Spectator
 
 
James Hawes

James Hawes has published six novels with Jonathan Cape. Speak for England (2005) predicted Brexit; it has been adapted for the screen by Andrew Davies, though not yet filmed. His previous book, The Shortest History of Germany, was the bestselling history title of 2018. He is currently working on an eight-part BBC documentary series about the history of British creativity, which will be broadcast in autumn 2021 as The Making of Us. Old Street will publish the accompanying book.