In a brilliantly imaginative blend of military, social and diplomatic history, Norman Longmate retells our island story from the perspective of its defenders, in a narrative which stretches from the Celtic tribes who unsuccessfully fought against Ceasar to the great seabourne defence against the Armada of Philip of Spain. He has gone back to the original sources and investigated the original battlegrounds and weak spots in Britain's defences, but the real strength of his book is its seamless narrative of history, which uncovers the truth behind the legends. A mass of solidly researched fact, not readily found elsewhere, is seasoned with lively, humorous and occassionally gruesome anecdote. The result, providing at once an invaluable sourcebook for the specialist and an enthralling narrative for the general reader, is by far the most comprehensive and accessible history of England versus invasion ever published.
Norman Longmate was born in Newbury, Berkshire, and educated by scholarship at Christ's Hospital, where he was deeply influenced by an inspiring history teacher. After the war service in the army he read modern history at Worcester College, Oxford. He subsequently worked as a journalist in Fleet Street, as a producer of history programmes for the BBC, and for the BBC Secretariat. In 1981 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and in 1983 he left the BBC to become a full-time writer. Norman Longmate is the author of more than twenty books, mainly on the Second World War and on Victorian social history, and of many radio and television scripts on historical subjects. He has frequently been employed as an historical adviser by film and television companies.