Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £5.99

Save £7.00 (54%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Origins of the British: The New Prehistory of Britain: A Genetic Detective Story by [Oppenheimer, Stephen]
Kindle App Ad

The Origins of the British: The New Prehistory of Britain: A Genetic Detective Story Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
£5.99
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£9.17

Length: 656 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
  • Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download

Kindle Books from 99p
Load up your Kindle library before your next holiday -- browse over 500 Kindle Books on sale from 99p until 31 August, 2016. Shop now

Product Description

Review

A well-informed, original and challenging application of new genetic data to the early population history of Britain: British prehistory will never look the same again. (Professor Colin Renfrew, University of Cambridge)

Stephen Oppenheimer's challenging book contributes significantly to the growing body of genetic, linguistic, and historical evidence for an early Germanic presence in "Celtic" Britain. (Dr Peter Forster, The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge)

Book Description

'British prehistory will never look the same again.' Professor Colin Renfrew, University of Cambridge


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 16127 KB
  • Print Length: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson; New Ed edition (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007KK4LWQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #114,429 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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 76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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 104 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Oppenheimer contends that Britain's genetic stock is driven by migrations from glaciation refuges such as the Basque region and the Balkans. The `Celtic' fringe forms part of an Atlantic coastal zone of influence from Iberia active from 15,000 years ago. Nearly the entire source of western Britain's gene pool is from `Ruisko' and its re-expansions R1b-9, R1b-5 and R1b-14, as well as R1b-10, the main gene cluster moving into the British Isles during the Mesolithic. In contrast, eastern England produces a more mixed picture starting with the I1c group spreading from the Balkans just before the Younger-Dryas reglaciation but then complicated by waves from different directions (e.g. I1a during the late Mesolithic, J1a from N Germany, J1b1 from Norway as well as the Neolithic re-expansion of R1b-12). However, whilst some of the gene maps look superficially convincing, others don't: I1c being a case in point; I1b2 with a strange and unexplained Sardinian foundation event even more so.

Less controversial is the now accepted argument that there was no Celtic homeland in Central Europe associated with Hallstatt and La Tène. However, Oppenheimer draws on research suggesting that the Celtic language group may have broken away from the Germanic and Romance languages thousands of years prior to the sort of time most linguists would expect. The old P-Celtic and Q-Celtic division is swept away and even the strange Vennemann Hypothesis is brought in regarding a possible Atlantic-Semitic substrate.

There does turn out to be a marked watershed between eastern England and western Britain but the difference goes back much further than the Germanic invasions of which Gildas and Bede speak.
Read more ›
13 Comments 188 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book , published a decade ago , is now hopelessly out of date . The central thrust of the text is as follows ; Brits and Irish are descended primarily from Iberian Hunter Gatherers who trekked along the Atlantic coast about 14,000-12,000 years ago . Their genetic legacy accounts for 75% of modern British ancestry. All subsequent migratons had little impact on the genetic makeup of Brits. Anglo-Saxons , as well as other migrants - including Neolithic farmers , had a very small genetic impact .

These claims can no longer be supported , mainly thanks to ancient DNA findings.

The world of genetics has advanced with breathtaking speed since the publication of this book ; leaving Oppenheimers work looking like a quaint throwback to a time when genetic studies had advanced only in baby steps ,and the prevailing theories had an over reliance on decades old anti-migrationist archeological theories , as well as a determination (politically motivated?) that Britons were the descendants of people who had inhabited these islands since the end of the Ice Age .It seems in fact that very little of British ancestry can be traced to those Hunter Gatherers .Comparing modern British DNA to pre-Copper Age European DNA , this is blindingly obvious .

The Neolithic saw huge migration from the Near East, eventually creating quite a homogenous Neolithic European population best represented today by the Sardinian people. A Neolithic Irish females genome is very similar to Sardinians. Incidentally , Basques also received a substantial genetic input from farmers , among others ,thereby disproving Oppenhiemers theory that modern Basques represent native European Hunter Gatherer purity.
Read more ›
2 Comments 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

click to open popover