The first single-volume history of the mutual relations between the constituent parts of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), made topical by the recent devolution developments in Scotland and Wales.
By comparison with the United States, the history of the United Kingdom as an undivided entity has been quite short. This book describes the history of each constituent part, their interaction, and the effect of external events. As soon as British history is seen as an integral part of world (especially European) history, the perspective alters drastically.
Until 1803 France was optimistically assumed to be part of the realm. Less than a century elapsed between 1829, when the grant of a very restricted franchise to Catholics made the inclusion of Ireland more than a political fiction, to 1922, when the Irish Free State emerged. Scotland, with England the main constituent of the UK since 1707, has retained its own legal system, administration and established church (the Queen changes her religion each time she passes Berwick). Wales retains a distinctive culture and language, albeit one on an expensive life-support machine.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
“A hugely enjoyable read, full of vigour and liveliness…a great achievement. As well as its giftedness as narrative, it is shot through with lively and provocative commentary…a good book for the intelligent general reader; for the natural constituency that purchases the BBC History Magazine every month. It will inform and instruct in an accessible way that none of its obvious rivals can match.” – John Morrill, Professor of British and Irish History, Selwyn College, CambridgeFrom the Back Cover:
It is often forgotten that by comparison with, for example, the United States, the history of the United Kingdom as an undivided entity has been quite short.
In 'The Four Nations' – England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland – Frank Welsh comprehensively describes the history of each constituent part of the British Isles, their interaction, and the effect of internal and external events from pre-Roman times to the present day. Along the way many commonly accepted views of history, as well as many cherished myths, are re-examined, and a number of awkward questions are posed.
Just how vulnerable is the history of the united Kingdom? What loyalty does it command? To what extent were Scotland, Wales and Ireland really the victims of predatory English aggression? Why is it necessary for the Queen to change her religion each time she passes Berwick-upon-Tweed? What will be the effect of the new assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland? And how serious is the increasingly frequently evoked spectre of fragmentation?
Written with the gusto and accessibility that characterised Frank Welsh's acclaimed histories of South Africa and Hong Kong, and full of unexpected anomalies and provocative insights, 'The Four Nations'is an invaluable and comprehensive single-volume history of the component parts of the United Kingdom which will be enjoyed by readers of all ages and persuasions.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS LTD, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 000257179X