Month: August 2018

Coming Soon: Britain and Europe: A Short History

Jeremy’s new book will be published by Hurst Publishers

The history of Britain has, at least in part, to be understood in a European context. Jeremy Black’s new book seeks to explain this phenomenon.

Amid Britain’s ongoing Brexit crises the mastodons on both sides roar about our past relationship with Europe.  Much specious history is being presented to justify how close or distant our political, cultural and economic links with the Continent have been, both by isolationist advocates of a ‘Little Britain’ and those who breathlessly embrace a polyglot landmass, one in which Britain has traditionally ‘balanced’ its interests offshore by siding with one European power or another.

But how similar to or dissimilar from other European countries was Britain, and in what respects? Moreover, how far can similarity and difference be understood in terms of convergence, divergence, or roughly parallel tracks? Did the inhabitants of the British Isles feel themselves to be Europeans, did they take an informed and sympathetic interest in what was happening on the Continent, or did their ignorance of Europe lead to insularity and xenophobia? Finally, to what extent was Britain involved in the affairs of the Continent over the last several hundred years?  These are among the questions examined in this fresh and trenchant analysis of ‘Britain in Europe’.