4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Britain Begins (Paperback)
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Sir Barry Cunliffe is a renowned archaeologist and Emeritius Professour at the University of Oxford. He has produced a host of excellent books regarding the ancient peoples of the British and Irish isles. Britain Begins is a stunningly produced and enthralling book. Moving through 11 millennia of history: from the very earliest prehistory of these islands to the pivotal year which every school child knows; 1066.
Lavishly illustrated with maps, diagrams and photographs of archaeological sites and finds Britain Begins is a fascinating and erudite introduction to the beginnings of Britain and Ireland. It's a shame that the title doesn't reflect the inclusion of Ireland but Ireland is included and no history of these islands would be complete without it so don't be put off by the title.
This is not the sort if book which you can read straight through. Many of the ideas are extremely complex and it would be far too much information to take in in one straight read through. I think the reader would get more out of the book if they read single sections or chapters at a time or the bits which interest you most. The book starts with a chapter on the myths and legends of the British Isles from Herodotus, Tacitus and Caesar and then moves on to the earliest settlers after the last ice age and then every age in between in chronological order until 1066. Cunliffe also includes interludes about physical characteristics and DNA, language and religion which really add something extra to the information. A fascinating and beautiful book and well worth buying if you are interested in the beginnings of Britain and Ireland and the people who occupied these ancient isles.