46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Most enjoyable journey around Roman Britain,
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This review is from: Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book, informative, erudite, and up to the minute in its discussions of the latest discoveries and thinking about Roman Britain. Charlotte Higgins writes very well, evoking the differing Roman sites and landscapes in flowing, often atmospheric, prose. Her use of imagery, and her clear delight, in particular at the flora that can clothe these ancient sites, give considerable pleasure. Personal details from her journeys - for example, the oft breaking-down camper van or the dodgy individuals met along the Antonine Wall - provide context, reader empathy, and often amusement, but never overly intrude. She displays her academic credentials in some detailed commentaries on, for example, literary sources and the iconography of mosaics, accompanied by a fair sprinkling of Latin quotations (happily, with translation). She gives as well many interesting facts from the life stories of antiquarians and archaeologists who have been involved in the subject of Roman Britain over the recent centuries. Leading archaeologists today clearly co-operated in her site visits, enabling her to represent the very latest views on a number of controversial issues.
I haven't enjoyed a book on Roman Britain so much for a long time. The nearest parallel is Leonard Cottrell's 'Seeing Roman Britain', but that is now nearly 60 years out of date and did not perhaps have the same professional rigour as the present work. Charlotte Higgins' book was very much needed. It could be turned into an excellent TV series. The only thing I spotted not quite right - other than for one or two typos - is the statement, repeated, that Hod Hill is near Maiden Castle: they are, in fact, well over 20 miles apart!
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Initial post: 15 Aug 2013 18:23:23 BDT
Charlotte Higgins says:
Hello, the author here: thank you so much for this terrific write-up. I'll be sure to change that Maiden Castle/Hod Hill thing for the paperback - you're quite right of course.
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