A new 6 part BBC series: Michael Wood's Story of England
. Michael tells the story of one community through the whole of English history. Using documents, landscape, buildings, science and archaeology, and with the help of the villagers themselves, he explores the lives of the ordinary people against the backdrop of national events across more than a thousand years.
Moving between the national and the local narratives, Michael sets the lives of the ordinary people in the context of great events: from the Viking invasions and the Norman Conquest to the Industrial Revolution and the two World Wars. Today’s villagers uncover archaeological evidence to fill in the unknown history of the village before 1066, charting the coming of Romans Anglo-Saxons and Vikings into the village; they help dig into local and national archives, and reconstruct a Victorian village concert; and we go with them on a school trip to World War One battlefields.
Michael Wood The Story of England The village of Kibworth in Leicestershire lies at the very centre of England. It has a church, some pubs, the Grand Union Canal, a First World War Memorial - and many centuries of recorded history. In the thirteenth century the village was bought by William de Merton, who later founded Merton College, Oxford, with the result that documents covering 750 years of village history are lodged at the college. Building on this unique archive, and enlisting the help of the current inhabitants of Kibworth, with a village-wide archeological dig, with the first complete DNA profile of an English village and with use of local materials like family memorabilia, Michael Wood tells the extraordinary story of one English community over fifteen centuries, from the moment that the Roman Emperor Honorius sent his famous letter in 410 advising the English to look to their own defences to the village as it is today. The story of Kibworth is the story of England itself, a 'Who Do You Think You Are?' for the entire nation. It is the subject of a six-part BBC tv series to be shown in autumn 2010, presented by Michael Wood.