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Roman Britain: A New History Paperback – 16 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; 2 edition (16 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500291144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500291146
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 0.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born and educated in Wimbledon, the eldest of five children. My father gave me a Roman coin when I was about twelve and it was a decisive experience: I became transfixed by the past. I went to the Universities of Durham and London, studying History and Archaeology, and took an MA in Archaeology at University College, London. I actually worked for the BBC for most of the time between 1981 and 1999 but had started writing books on Roman Britain for Batsford by the late 1980s. In 1998 the Channel 4 TV series Time Team asked me to take part in a film at Papcastle and I soon became a regular participant as 'Roman expert' between then and 2011. I also took part in a number of other TV programmes along the way - so I left the BBC in 1999 and worked freelance as a writer and broadcaster until 2007.It was a privilege to be elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries along the way.
Time Team was a marvellous opportunity. I got to meet all sorts of interesting people and visit places I would never have got to otherwise. The show has been transmitted all over the world and I frequently get enquiries from across the globe. The most memorable dig of all was in the summer of 1999 when we excavated a WW2 Spitfire that had crashed in France on 23 May 1940. As a result I took a pilot's licence to find out what it was like to be in charge of an aircraft for myself.
In 2007-8 I decided to retrain as a schoolteacher, wanting to do something different. Since then I have taught History and Classical Civilization at a girls' grammar school (now an academy) in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. It's been a very invigorating (if sometimes frustrating) experience and one of my most recent titles, Cities of Roman Italy, was written as a textbook for the Classical Civiization course. A number of my students have gone on to study Classics, Archaeology or Ancient History and I'm pleased to have played a small part in their decision to pursue those routes.
I have numerous historical interests including collecting coins and travelling widely, especially in Italy, the United States and Australia. I give lectures occasionally, most recently to the Roman Archaeology Group at the University of Western Australia in Perth.
One of my great privileges is that being independent, as opposed to be tied to a university position, means I can pursue my interests in any direction they take me. Although I have mainly written on the Romans, I have also been able to publish books on the seventeenth-century diarists John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys.
My wife Rosemary (with whom I was at university) and I work together as History teachers now at our school. We've been married for over thirty years and I'm very grateful for the fact that she shares many of my interests and has been prepared to tolerate endless treks across Rome, Pompeii, US Civil War battlefields, and most recently a flight out to the Abrolhos Islands off Geraldton in Western Australia to see the 1629 wreck site of the Batavia, the tale of which is one of the most astonishing historical yarns of all time.

Product Description

Review

...lively but authoritative book. --Minerva

With many illustrations and maps, it's a friendly introduction for the enthusiast that highlights the archaeology. --British Archaeology

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Parsdon on 13 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a highly readable account of the history and archaeology of Roman Britain, well-illustrated and presented. I bought it when it was first published in 2006, and I also bought the new edition recently as I thought it would contain a substantial updating of recent archaeological discoveries and interpretations; there have after all been considerable developments in the subject since 2006. However, the textual amendments and additions are slight, together with a very few extra, or replacement, illustrations. I wish I had viewed the new edition first before purchasing through Amazon!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ian Thumwood on 31 July 2014
Format: Paperback
Over the last couple of years there have been a number of really exceptional books about Roman Britain which offer a variety of different approaches from a military / political perspective, narrative approaches, studies based upon archaeological evidence and even thoroughly revisionist efforts like "Un-Roman Britain." I've enjoyed reading all of these books as they have opened the window on to a world I hadn't fully appreciated. However, for a comprehensive and rounded history of this era, I would have to say that Guy de la Bedoyere's effort is essential reading and the ideal starting point.

This books scores on so many levels. It is easy to read and doesn't assume any prior knowledge. The illustrations and photographs are excellent and the "bullet points" within each chapter throw an interesting light on topics such as London, treasure hoards, Mithras, pottery and baths. The structure of the book leaves no stone unturned with chapters offering a narrative history of Roman Britain, information about towns and villas, the organisation of the army, religion, industry and commerce as well as a well-considered conclusion on the demise of Roman life in these islands which is neither sensational or controversial. In fact, this balanced and well-thought out book seems to cover practically everything that is currently known and if the subject still remains illusive, this is indicative of how little we actually know after the beginning of the 2nd century and the fact that the archaeological record is imbalanced insofar that perishable materials and structures are absent with the exception of staggering finds like the VIndolanda tablets.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Leslie Evans on 8 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Guy de la Bedoyere is well known to us from his appearances in 'all things Roman' in the excellent Time Team programmes on television. Now, sadly, terminated.
This book was first published in 2006 when I borrowed it from my local library. Demand has justifiably caused it to have been reprinted a number of times until 2013 when the writer again brought the content up to date and a revised publication was published. This edition was a Christmas present from my daughter and I am now pleased to add it to my book shelf.
Archaeology is continuously finding more information from the ground and we are extremely fortunate to have Mr. Bedoyere on hand to collate all this information and present it to us in such a readable way.
Any one with just a mild interest in this fascinating part of British History will do well to read it.
Heartily recommended!
Les Evans. (Gower)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By reg isaac on 3 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book met every requirement. This was purchased by my wife for a Latin/Roman history course she is presently undertaking. It was recommended by the course tutor and contains some good illustrations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Josephine Allan on 14 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
I think I can say that it is rather dry and very little information not available to someone who has read around the subject for a few hours.
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