Britain [The Invention Of ]

Episodes

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Anglocentrism... Or Why Britons Never Will Be Slaves2019030320190625 (R4)

In AD 937 a mighty battle, like something from Game of Thrones, took place somewhere on the British Isles. Nobody is exactly sure where. On one side there was the king of the Scottish highlands, the king of Strathclyde, and the king of Dublin as well. On the other, Athelstan, bracelet-bestower, baron of barons, lord among earls. It was England against the rest.

In part two of the Invention of Britain, Misha Glenny explores the role of England in the history of these islands - from the battle of Brunanburgh to the conquest of Ireland and Wales. There are location recordings in Anglesey, Caernarfon, Edinburgh and beyond. Contributors include Tom Holland, Suzannah Lipscomb, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Sara Elin Roberts, Dafydd Iwan and Joan Redmond. This episode travels as far as the English Civil War, better known these days as the War of the Three Kingdoms.

Presenter Misha Glenny is a Sony award-winning reporter and the author of McMafia. Miles Warde is the series producer of How to Invent a Country which also includes programmes on Germany, Spain, Italy and Brazil.

Misha Glenny on the role of England in the Invention of Britain

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

So Many Different Little Corners20190317

Back in the deep, dark depths of winter, we met a Scottish photographer on the top of a Glasgow multi-storey car park. "The English think I am a nationalist," he tells Misha Glenny, "but you can be British and wave the saltire, the Saint Andrew's Cross." Which suggests the word British is still alive and kicking, despite the tendency to think we are about to fragment.

In this final episode, the programme travels to Scotland, Wales and Ireland to discover what binds us, and what divides us. Recording on location in a mid-Wales snowstorm and a Dublin rugby match, the presenter teases out the mystery of what Britain was historically, particularly in the days of empire. It also asks why the republic of Ireland decided to break loose. With contributions from Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert of Document Scotland, Fiona Watson, Murray Pittock, Tom Devine, Mike Parker, Fintan O'Toole, playwright Rosemary Jenkinson, and historian Patrick Geoghegan, currently on attachment to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Presenter Misha Glenny is a Sony award winning reporter and the author of McMafia.
Miles Warde is series producer of the How to Invent a Country podcast which has now travelled to Germany, Spain, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands and the USA.

Who are the Scots, the Irish, the English and the Welsh? What do these words even mean?

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

01Like Quicksand For The Uninitiated2019022420190618 (R4)

"Let's start with the monarchy - the Normans or Norsemen who'd settled in northern France; the Tudors, part Welsh; the Stuarts, they were Scots; then there's the Dutch, briefly, and the Hanoverians from 1714. There hasn’t been an English dynasty for almost a thousand years. And yet much of our history is centred on what London decides."

This is the story of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, from Offa's Dyke to Hadrian's Wall via Dublin and Derry, Edinburgh too. What has made this Atlantic archipelago come together? Three acts of union, plus an Anglo-Irish agreement in 1921. Our rulers may have come from everywhere, yet for centuries we were at war with ourselves.

Episode 1 considers England and Scotland, and the reasons behind the union of 1707.

Recorded around the country - on the borders, the battlefields, in the rooms where deals were done - these programmes are told with Invention's trademark clarity.

Presenter Misha Glenny is a Sony award winning reporter and the author of McMafia. Miles Warde produces the How to Invent a Country series which has now travelled to Germany, Spain, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands and the USA.

Contributors to the series include Diarmaid MacCulloch, Suzannah Lipscomb, Fiona Watson, Karin Bowie, Roy Foster, Fintan O'Toole, Tom Holland and Rebecca Rideal.

A four-part history of us - our borders, our peoples, the stories we tell ourselves.

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.