Northerners :A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day

3.89 (46,871 Ratings by Goodreads)

Northerners :A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day

3.89 (46,871 Ratings by Goodreads)
Published: 14 April, 2022
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A Waterstones Best History Book of 2022

The bestselling history of the North of England as told through the lives of its inhabitants.

'Entertaining' The Times

'Definitive' The Mirror

'Highly readable' Financial Times

A work of unrivalled scale and ambition, Northerners is the defining biography of northern England.

This authoritative new history of place and people lays out the dramatic events that created the north - waves of migration, invasions and battles, and transformative changes wrought on European culture and the global economy. In a sweeping narrative that takes us from the earliest times to the present day, the book shows that the people of the north have shaped Britain and the world in unexpected ways.

At least six Roman emperors ruled from York. The Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was Europe's leading cultural and intellectual centre. Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes, deserves to be as famous as Boudica. Neanderthals and Vikings, Central European Jews, African-Caribbeans and South Asians, have all played their part in the making and remaking of the north. Northern writers, activists, artists and comedians are celebrated the world over, from Wordsworth, the Brontes and Gaskell to LS Lowry, Emmeline Pankhurst and Peter Kay. St Oswald and Bede shaped the spiritual and cultural landscapes of Britain and Europe, and the world was revolutionised by the inventions of Richard Arkwright and the Stephensons. The north has exported some of sport's biggest names and defined the sound of generations, from the Beatles to Britpop.

Northerners also shows convincingly how the past echoes down the centuries. The devastation of factory and pit closures in the 1980s, for example, recalled the trauma of William the Conqueror's Harrying of the North. The book charts how the north-south divide has ebbed and flowed and explores the very real divisions between northerners, such as the rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Finally, Brian Groom explores what northernness means today and the crucial role the north can play in Britain's future. As new forces threaten the fabric of the UK again, this landmark book could scarcely be more timely.

'Entertaining and informative. ... Avoids sentimentality and stereotypes. ... Groom keeps his history admirably down to earth.' The Times, Book of the Week

'A definitive new chronicle of the region, the first to appear this century.' The Mirror

'Groom's chronicling of northern setbacks is urbane rather than indignant. ... Comprehensive and highly readable.' Financial Times

'This is a huge book, in which the author slips seamlessly and triumphantly from one subject to another.' Literary Review

'Hugely impressive.' Big Issue

'A rich and kaleidoscopic history of a region, its landscape, industries, culture and people. Northerners is rigorous, digressive, discursive, always entertaining and enlightening, as full of good things as the North itself.' Stuart Maconie, author of Pies and Prejudice

'A wonderful compendium of the North's proud, deep, ancient otherness.' James Hawes, author of The Shortest History of England

'An essential writer on politics and business and a tireless champion of the north.' George Parker, political editor, Financial Times

'A measured and essential voice in these compromised times.' Adam Boulton, editor-at-large at Sky News and presenter of All Out Politics

'Few people are better placed to write the story of northerners. One of journalism's most astute observers of the state of Britain.' Helen Pidd, North of England editor, The Guardian

'Brian Groom is one of the leading experts on Britain's regions and nations and a perceptive analyst.' Duncan Weldon, The Economist, author of Two Hundred Years of Muddling Through

'Panoramic, authoritative and a beautiful read. Brian has written the book everyone who wishes to understand the north of England must read.' Sebastian Payne, author of Broken Heartlands

Brian Groom is a journalist and a leading expert on British regional and national affairs. His career was spent mainly at the Financial Times, where he was assistant editor and worked in various capacities. He is also a former editor of Scotland on Sunday, which he launched as deputy editor and which won many awards. Originally from Stretford, Lancashire, he returned to live in the north - in Saddleworth, south Pennines - in 2015. This is his first book.

Type Book
ISBN 9780008471200
Number Of Pages 432
Item Weight 690 g
Product Dimensions 159 x 240 x 40 mm
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
Format Hardback