A tour of British history through the eyes of those who were there, in first-hand accounts of the events that made Britain great. Beginning with Julius Caesar's attempted invasion of the sceptred isle in 55 BC and ending in the dawn of the third millennium, the volume comprises 300 eyewitness accounts of British history, culled from memoirs, diaries, letters and newspaper reports. It illuminates the island's history in highlighted moments, while vignettes of social life -from cockfighting in Tudor inns to a Victorian Sunday spent in the country - gives insight into the lives of the people through the ages. Included in the history are: 1066 - the Battle of Hastings; 1588 - the defeat of the Spanish Armada; 1649 - the execution of Charles I; 1666 -the Great Fire of London; 1805 - Beatty's account of the death of Lord Nelson at Trafalgar; 1815 - Wellington's triumph at Waterloo; 1912 -Antarctic Expedition, the last letters of R.F. Scott; 1914 - Frank Richard's account of Christmas in the trenches; 1940 - the Battle of Britain; 1966 - England wins the World Cup; and 1997 - the death of the Princess of Wales.
Jon E. Lewis is a historian and writer, whose books on history and military history are sold worldwide. He is also editor of many The Mammoth Book of anthologies, including the bestselling On the Edge and Endurance and Adventure. He holds graduate and postgraduate degrees in history. His work has appeared in New Statesman, the Independent, Time Out and the Guardian. He lives in Herefordshire with his partner and children. Praise for his previous books: England: The Autobiography: 'A triumph' Saul David, author of Victoria's Army The British Soldier: The Autobiography: 'this thoughtful compilation ... almost unbearably moving.' Guardian 'Compelling tommy's eye view of war.' Daily Telegraph 'What a book. Five stars.' Daily Express