The Origins of the British: The New Prehistory of Britain and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story Hardcover – 18 Oct 2006


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£13.48
Hardcover, 18 Oct 2006
£23.93


Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers Inc; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (18 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786718900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786718900
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.1 x 4.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,538,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

`Fascinating ... Stimulating and provocative' -- Current Archaeology

'A very lively discussion on the very popular subject of who we
think we are.'
-- The Lady

Fascinating stuff -- Family History Monthly

`British prehistory will have to be radically re-thought.' -- Barry Cunliffe

`Fascinating' -- Contemporary Review

`Particularly illuminating ... The author carefully lays out the
genetic data that show how three-quarters of Britishness dates to the
repopulation after the northern ice sheets last retreated, and takes us
through a fascinating investigation of what this means for some cherished
notions of Britishness.'
-- Nature

`Stephen Oppenheimer is the supreme genetic detective fishing for
evidence in the gene-pools of history. Be prepared to have all your
cherished notions of English history and Britishness swept away in this
fascinating and superbly illustrated account of what makes up our national
character.' -- Professor Clive Gamble, University of London

`The historians' account is wrong in almost every detail. In Dr
Oppenheimer's reconstruction of events, the principal ancestors of today's
British and Irish populations arrived from Spain about 16,000 years ago.' -- New York Times

`The most heavyweight of recent books devoted to British origins.
A fascinating, if at times controversial, read.' -- Current Archaeology --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Stephen Oppenheimer of University of Oxford is a leading expert in the use of DNA to track migrations. His last book Out of Eden rewrote the prehistory of man's peopling of the world in a thesis that has since been confirmed in Science. He is also the author of Eden in the East: the Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Alan the Kaz on 27 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
When I decided to purchase this book, I was mistakenly under the impression that it was going to be accessible to the layman with a curiosity in the subject matter. However, while it's not exactly a "stuffy textbook", it can get overly technical and difficult to digest. At times I felt like giving up, particularly around the middle which, featured almost nothing but heavy statistics and data. However, I persevered onwards, and I'm very glad that I did.

This book was an extremely fascinating read and one that has completely shattered many of the preconceived notions that I had of the English, the Celts, and "Britishness" as a whole. Yes, sometimes it did feel like you need a Ph.D. in History, Archaeology and Linguistics all in one to be able to follow it, but if you're interested enough in the subject to be willing to plough through all of that, then you'll find this a treasure trove worth of information.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Carter-Blood on 27 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As usual Stephen Oppenheimer meanders through existing evidence old and new in order to weave out a legible tapestry of history. Whilst I and others may not agree fully with all the findings it must be accepted that he has produced an exceptional piece of work around which it is now possible to set a new benchmark for the understanding of migration of peoples to the Isles of Greater Britain. Mistakes of past historians are defabricated and then reconstructed in simple terms so that a broader picture unfurls showing greater definition.
'The Origins of the British' will provide you with ammunition to throw at television historians that constantly regurgitate old school perspectives upon our past. I guarantee that if you have any interest in archeology, history, genetic study, or linguistics then this publication is a must, one that may well set you on a route of learning which is crying out for future examination.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
99 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
A number of books tracing the origins of the peoples of the Isles have appeared recently. While not perfect, this is the best so far, considerably superior to the rather superficial treatment in "The Blood of the Isles" by Bryan Sykes and "The Face of Britain" by Robin McKie. Oppenheimer considers all aspects of the evidence, for example linguistics, not just genetics, and lays out the evidence in much more detail than Sykes and McKie. Nevertheless, the book remains very readable if you have an interest in the subject.

A number of writers on the subject assume that the genetic makeup of the population of England before the Anglo-Saxon period must have been the same as that of Wales and Ireland, and that any differences must be down to the Anglo-Saxons or Vikings. Oppenheimer shows that this is unlikely to be true. This fits in well with other work, showing that in ancient times the sea was often a highway and the land a barrier, rather than vice versa.

Oppenheimer's idea that some of the population of eastern England in pre-Roman times may have spoken a Germanic language is somewhat less convincing, but he presents the evidence such as it is fairly and leaves it to the reader to decide whether to agree or disagree.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Zimri-lim on 19 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found Stephen Oppenheimer's tome utterly fascinating and a thoroughly rewarding read. Yes there are typos, but the core ideas are well argued and the author draws extensively on archaeological, anthropological, historical and genetic-based research. Despite completing a PhD in Roman Archaeology at UCL I too found 'The Origins of the British' bloody hard going and would recommend; (a) that you read the conclusion before reading the chapter, and (b) read the book twice!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By MLA VINE VOICE on 20 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Origins of the British still make for contentious and fascinating debate amongst the people of these isles and this work adds strongly to the discussion. The purpose of the book appears to be to establish genetic analysis to the existing archaelogical and linguistic history built up over the centuries. Genetics is clearly still in it's infancy but it is a massive step forward in understanding the past.

Oppenheimer's work lays out the genetic influences of the British population (excluding post-WWII immigration) and his findings are well worth knowing. The genetic analysis sets out the post-Ice Age colonisation phases and the most significant plus points of the book are the genetic debunking of wipeout theories and the co-existance of Germanic, Scandinavian, and Celtic peoples in Britain.

The spread of western European peoples from Ice Age refuges and the development of culture and language inevitably means that the peoples of those countries are somewhat similar. What Oppenheimer's analysis of the genetic research shows is that there are observable differences and that those differences can trace a history of Britain that has had far less intrusion from overseas than is typically suggested.

There are two issues that I have with the book - the writing is not of the highest quality and the genetics themselves are not well explained. The writing does not flow and is tough going, I did feel as though I was reading a dissertation at times and not an especially well written one. This is not really popular science and the logical chain is not easy to follow as Oppenheimer leaps into asides and tangents.

I really do though wish that the genetics had been better and more fully exposed. Traditional history is interesting but hardly new.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback