Simon Heffer

Our Island Story

A People's History of Britain


Chatto & Windus 829pp £25 order from our bookshop


THE BEAUTY OF writing (and, indeed, reading) a history of this country from Roman times to the present day is that one sees what a seamless garment time is. The right way to regard historical events is in relation to the continuum: for it is impossible to evaluate anything in isolation, or to understand properly how it came about. There are no gaps: one event leads on to another. To cover 2,000 years of what used to be called Our Island Story in fewer than 800 pages is a tall order; and to her credit Rebecca Fraser does it with thoroughness and diligence. And yet, this is a peculiarly reactionary book, and perhaps more superficial than it needed to be, even given the confines of the single volume.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter