A stirring account of the Northumbrians and their astonishing contribution to British and global history. Why is the North East the most distinctive region of England? Where do the stereotypes about North Easterners come from, and why are they so often misunderstood? In this wide-ranging new history of the people of North-East England, Dan Jackson explores the deep roots of Northumbrian culture–hard work and heavy drinking, sociability and sentimentality, militarism and masculinity–in centuries of border warfare and dangerous and demanding work in industry, at sea and underground. He explains how the landscape and architecture of the North East explains so much about the people who have lived there, and how a ‘Northumbrian Enlightenment’ emerged from this most literate part of England, leading to a catalogue of inventions that changed the world, from the locomotive to the lightbulb. Jackson’s Northumbrian journey reaches right to the present day, as this remarkable region finds itself caught between indifferent south and a newly assertive Scotland. Covering everything from the Venerable Bede and the prince-bishops of Durham to Viz and Geordie Shore, this vital new history makes sense of a part of England facing an uncertain future, but whose people remain as distinctive as ever.
‘Superbly researched and written with immense affection, Jackson’s history of northeastern England has a fascinating nugget of information on every page … [this is a] hugely impressive book.’ — The Sunday Times
‘Dan Jackson was born and bred here, and his roots go deep, back generations. This book is a celebration of his land and ancestors … I heartily recommend The Northumbrians.‘ — Mail on Sunday
‘[The Northumbrians] is the most enjoyable book on a region of Britain that I have ever read. Often very moving, often very funny, it is written with a deep and learned love for Newcastle and its environs.’ — New Statesman
‘Dan Jackson sets out [Northumbrian history] in great detail and with real affection.’ — Church Times
‘A wonderful book: full of amazing detail, wise, humane & balanced. Often hilarious, often upsetting; in love with its subject, but never blind to its problems. I can’t recommend it enough.’ — Tom Holland
‘This is a book for both historians and the general public … There is a sense of a lost world in these pages, of a once great time now forgotten, even though so much of the past still arguably hangs over the current scene … The Northumbrians [is] a work of deep research and lifelong fascination.’ –LSE Review of Books
‘A dense eclectic dissection of a remote, foreign, strange land shaped, as no other part of England is, by belligerence and fear.’ — Jonathan Meades, writer and film-maker
‘Dan Jackson’s history of the people of Northumbria is peppered with striking insights and fresh perspectives on England’s most distinctive region. His engaging style combined with considerable, up to the minute research will ensure that The Northumbrians will be essential reading for anyone interested in the history of north east England.’ — Bill Lancaster, co-author, The Geordies: Roots of Regionalism
‘With deep research and an engaging style Dan Jackson brings the history and culture of the region to life, in ways that will delight his fellow Northumbrians.’ — Sir Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies, King’s College London, and author, inter alia, of The Future of War
‘Long overdue…a wonderfully unstuffy account of Northumbria’s history and the Northumbrian character.’ –Kathryn Tickell, renowned Northumbrian piper
‘The kingdom of Northumbria existed before England. It gave us the first historian of the English people, one of the great Christian legacies of Europe, and was the engine of the Industrial Revolution. This is a great history in any language but I really took to Dan Jackson’s. If you are interested in the rich and alternative history of our northern regions, this is the book for you.’ –Robert Colls, Professor of Cultural History, De Montfort University
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