SOUTHEND has a complex and surprisingly interesting history. From 18th-century origins as the `South End' of Prittlewell Parish, it has grown over 300 years to swallow up six separate parishes: Prittlewell, Southchurch, Leigh, Eastwood,North Shoebury and South Shoebury. The town and wider borough are both now known as `Southend'. Starting in the Stone Age, it ends in the modern Information Age, covering all points in between. The story of its evolution as a seaside resort, a commuter town and a regional shopping ventre is unterwoven with a multitude of amusing, intriguing and impressive events, incidents and achievements in this very readable narrative. Southend has been unfairly maligned as `lacking much history'. This new book successfully demolishes that suggestion, revealing a wealth of interest in the town and its past - from Prittlewell's Saxon origins to its important role in two world wars. It will be warmly welcomed throughout Essex.