Scholarship on the history of the British Isles is currently experiencing a golden age. The breakdown of modernism and the eclipse of both the Marxist tradition and the 'Whig interpretation' that sees all history as progress, combined with the trajectories of nationalism in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, have generated unprecedented intellectual activity.
Nor has the world stood still: the collapse of communism, the issue of integration into the EU, and the advance of multiculturalism have led more and more people in the English speaking world as a whole to sense that their collective landscape now looks profoundly different from that inhabited by their ancestors even a few decades ago.
In A World By Itself, six distinguished historians offer the most definitive and compelling history of the British Isles to date. Tracing the political, religious and material cultures from the Romans to the present day, this is at once an urgent reassessment of our shared past, and an inspirational celebration of British history. It focuses on the major themes and most dramatic moments of the last two millenia: the rise and fall of empires; reformation, revolution and restoration; wars both civil and global; and the enduring question of what it means to be British.
Formerly of Peterhouse College, Cambridge, and All Souls College, Oxford, Jonathan Clark is currently Hall Distinguished Professor of British History at the University of Kansas. James Campbell, until 2002 Professor of Medieval History at Oxford, is a Fellow of the British Academy. John Gillingham is Emeritus Professor of History at LSE and the Fellow of the British Academy. Jenny Wormald is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh, and formerly of St Hilda's College, Oxford. William D. Rubinstein is Professor of History at the Universty of Wales, Aberystwyth. Robert Skidelsky is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at Warwick University, and author of a multi-award-winning three-volume biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes.