Story of the British people is about history not geography

Readers' letters | Published:

I see Pete Davies of Pant drops into ‘clever-Dick’ mode again. He is answering my last letter where I stated that ‘we are not European’ and suggested he reads a decent history book.

Suggested reading

He thinks a geography book would be more appropriate because of the closeness of the European continent to the British Isles. That assumption would make Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland English Pete, a fact they would vehemently deny.

History I said and history I meant. I suggest you read Empire – How Britain Made the Modern World by an Irishman with no love for Britain called Niall Ferguson.

The credits in his book include 'dazzling, wonderfully readable' by the New York Book Review; 'a brilliant book', the Evening Standard; 'an enormous saga', the Sunday Herald and The Times describes him thus: ‘The most brilliant British historian of his generation’. His book begins: “Once there was an empire that governed roughly a quarter of the world’s population, covered about the same proportion of the Earth’s land surface and dominated nearly all its oceans.

“The British Empire was the biggest empire ever, bar none. How an archipelago of rainy islands off the north coast of Europe (note he did not include Britain in Europe), came to rule the world is one of the fundamental questions this book seeks to answer. The second question is, was it a good thing or a bad thing? An island with a population then of 14.2 million ruling 412 million souls around the world is amazing.”

The book is in the library Pete or you are welcome to borrow my copy but I hope you will read it and find out.

Bob Wydell, Oswestry

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