England: Seven Myths That Changed a Country – and How to Set Them Straight

England: Seven Myths That Changed a Country – and How to Set Them Straight
Published by Bloomsbury on 25th April 2024

Tom Baldwin and Marc Stears take on seven key myths that distort our ideas of England and where the country is heading.

Years of political turmoil and culture wars have left people asking, what is England and where do we all go from here? Too often, the answers offered are rooted not in real lives, but in myths that have been inflated out of all proportion.

Some talk of restoring an English birth-right of liberty or the global confidence to rule the waves. Others yearn for the old-fashioned morality with which, they claim, England once civilised a savage world. Still more look inwards to a story of an enchanted island that can stand alone against a hostile world.

In England, Tom Baldwin and Marc Stears unravel seven myths that have distorted ideas of this country. They travel from muddy fields in the Home Counties to the ports of Plymouth and Hull. They visit the old industrial heartland of Wolverhampton, spend weekends in the worn-down seaside resort of Blackpool, then gaze up the gleaming towers of modernity on the edge of London and the dreaming spires of Oxford. Along the way, they speak with many different people who tell stories of England, including politicians like Nigel Farage, campaigner Chrisann Jarrett, playwright James Graham and scientist Sarah Gilbert.

Through it all, Baldwin and Stears learn it is only by setting the myths straight that England can come to terms with its past and plot a path to the future. What emerges is a startlingly fresh and vivid real life picture of a country that belongs to everyone, or at least, to no one in particular.

More publications by Tom Baldwin