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The United Kingdom (Hardback)

The Unification and Disintegration of Britain since AD 43

Ancient History Military P&S History > British History

By John D Grainger
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 330
Illustrations: 22
ISBN: 9781526748195
Published: 17th June 2019


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John Grainger examines the long and erratic process by which the British Isles was gradually (and as it turns out, temporarily) unified over the course of eighteen centuries, and the subsequent beginnings of the process of disintegration, manifested in an independent Ireland and increasing devolution to, and nationalism in, Scotland and Wales. Taking the Roman (partial) conquest and forming of the province of Britannia as his starting point, he outlines the major stages by which unification was brought about, through invasions (or in reaction to the threat thereof) and the vagaries of dynastic succession. James I was the first monarch to reign simultaneously over the whole British Isles but full political union was not completed until the Act of Union that came into effect on 1 January 1801, against the backdrop of war with France. It was maintained for just 122 years before the Republic of Ireland gained independence in 1922. John Grainger sees the granting of their own parliaments to Wales and Scotland as further stages in the process of disintegration, which may be accelerated by 'Brexit'.

Former teacher and historian John D. Grainger presents The United Kingdom: The Unification & Disintegration of Britain Since AD 43, a scholarly, in-depth examination of how the British Isles have gradually unified over the course of centuries - and how that unification may be fracturing today, accentuated by internal disagreement and controversy over "Brexit" (Britain's withdrawal from the European Union). Expensively researched, and featuring an index for ease of reference, The United Kingdom is a salient, measured, and illuminating study of history with reflections on what Britain's past means for its present and future, highly recommended especially for public and college library World History collections.

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Midwest Book Review

This informative book provides a distinctive view of attempts to unify Britain from the early arrival of the Romans.

Every page is informative and clearly written. There is an interesting twist concerning Brexit in the very last lines.

Forces Pension Society

A book that is thoroughly researched and written for accessibility, serving academics and post-graduates but readable for the general public. The story of the United Kingdom is a mixture of myth, mystery and fact. This book provides a fact-based appraisal – Very Highly Recommended.

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Listed in 'First Flush' feature

Books Ireland, September/October 2019

This excellent treatise on how the United Kingdom became the UK following years of Dark Ages invasions and through the middle ages unification with Scotland makes for a very interesting read. Some of what you will read in this book you will be already familiar with, some of it will be new to you.

Books Monthly

This book is a good narrative account of the evolution of the United Kingdom and the stresses that have contributed to the continuation of the union of nations and those that may in time see the fragmentation of that union. It considers the value of the union and it has been strongest at times of external pressures. An interesting basis for thought on the subject and current events.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About John D Grainger

JOHN D GRAINGER is a former teacher and historian of great experience with a particular interest in Classical and Hellenistic Greek history. His many previous works include the following for Pen & Sword: Hellenistic and Roman Naval Wars (2011); The Wars of the Maccabees (2012); Roman Conquests: Egypt and Judaea (2013); a three-part history of the Seleukid Empire (2014-16), King’s and Kingship in the Hellenistic World 350-30 BC (2017), Antipater’s Dynasty (2018), Ancient Dynasties (2019, The Roman Imperial Succession (March 2020), The Straits from Troy to Constantinople (2021) and The Forty Sieges of Constantinople (2022). He lives in Evesham, Worcestershire.

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