by Ian Morris
Published: 2 Feb 2023
'Ian Morris has established himself as a leader in making big history interesting and understandable' Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel
'Morris succeeds triumphantly at cramming 10,000 years of history into a single book' Robert Colvile, The Times
For hundreds of years, Britannia ruled the waves and an empire on which the sun never set - but for thousands of years before that, Britain had been no more than a cluster of unimportant islands off Europe's north-west shore.
Drawing on the latest archaeological and historical evidence, Ian Morris shows how much the meaning of Britain's geography has changed in the 10,000 years since rising seas began separating the Isles from the Continent, and how these changing meanings have determined Britons' destinies.
From being merely Europe's fractious, feuding periphery - divided by customs, language and landscape, and always at the mercy of more powerful continental neighbours - the British turned themselves into a United Kingdom and put it at the centre of global politics, commerce and culture.
But as power and wealth now shift from the West towards China, what fate awaits Britain in the twenty-first century?