This text introduces readers to the new perspectives opened up by the adoption of a truly British approach - one that encompasses on equal terms the interacting histories of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England - to the history of the "Atlantic Archipelago" from the time of Thomas Cromwell in the 1530s-1540s, to the Act of Union (1707). The core of the book consists of a series of chronological essays surveying the period from end to end; supplemented by a detailed historiographical and conceptual introduction, and by a set of thematic essays. These essays explore whether the "British" approach can be extended to social and economic history, examine concepts of British and national identity, and debate whether the new approach has brought with it loss as well as gain.
Glenn Burgess is Reader in Early Modern English History at the University of Hull.
Introduction: the new British history, Glenn Burgess. Part 1 British history - achievement and prospect: regal union for Britain, 1603-38, Allan I. Macinnes; the war(s) of the three kingdoms, John Morril; restoration to revolution, 1660-90, Clare Jackson; "British" history in the post-revolutionary world, 1690-1715, Tony Claydon; patterns of British identity - "Britain" and its rivals in the 16th and 17th centuries, Arthur Williamson; is a British socio-economic history possible? Ian Whyte. Part 2 Assessments: British history and Irish history, T.C. Barnard; seducing the Scottish Clio - has Scottish history anything to fear from the new British history? Keith M. Brown; critical perspectives - the autonomy of English history? Tim Harris; Britain or Europe? the context of early modern English history -political and cultural, economic and social, naval and military, John Reeve.