on 25 March 2000
In search of England seemed to be largely ignored by the newspaper review columns when it was published.Perhaps the absence of the usual accompanying tv series with a Michael Wood book gave it a lower profile.Whatever the reason,the lack of attention is disappointing as this book makes a significant contribution to the debate on English identity.Wood,of course,takes a historical perspective and through a series of essays traces the roots and development of the English nation and identity.Some of the chapters address the theme directly,others are more oblique,but it all hangs together very well and is written in clear and well-structured prose.
I have only two minor complaints.Firstly,whilst most of Wood's arguments are convincing,occasionally he steps over the line and makes a speculative leap too far.Secondly,and this is just my personal taste,Wood uses too many of those irritating exclamation marks!Perhaps they are used to ensure the book retains a popular rather than academic feel.If so,Wood sells himself short as he is a good historian with a real understanding of his subject.
on 20 May 2012
Mr Wood's book is a treasure to have. He succeeds in conveying an abundance of historical and cultural facts, thus illustrating what Englishness might be. The style in which everything is illustrated is factual, but fluid and lively, without any attempt at being just an "easy read". Add to this the bonus that the book is now available at a very low price!
on 22 July 2011
I knew it would be good, after all it's by Michael Wood! And it is excellent, beautifully written and very, very readable. No-one can come away from this book not knowing more about English history than they have ever known.
on 23 December 1999
All you would expect from Michael Wood, this is an informative, fascinating and above all accessible book. I found it practically unputdownable - no dry dusty history here, this is how it should be told, a story of the past and an idea of how that past still influences us today.
Told by an author who's enthusiasm for his subject spills off the page, his book left me with a thirst to find out more. Thankfully Wood provides an excellent bibliography (as good a read as the chapters themselves...) to start us out on our own Search.
on 25 May 2009
Written as only Michael Wood can. Charming, quaint and erudite from cover to cover. Wood transports you back through the centuries not necessarily to great events in British history but to the events, personalities, legends, institutions and scenes that constitute the very stuff of our Englishness.
A wonderful read on a warm summers day under the apple tree.