Derek J Taylor
is a former
international TV news
and public speaker
The Diane Banks
The English are often confused about who they are. They say ‘British’ when they mean ‘English’, and ‘English’ when they should say ‘British.’
But when England, more than the rest of the UK, voted to leave the EU, polls showed national identity was a big concern. So it’s time the English sorted out in their minds what it means to be English.
A nation’s character is moulded by its history. And in Who do the English think they are? historian and journalist, Derek J. Taylor travels the length and breadth of the country to find answers.
He discovers that the first English came from Germany, and then in the later Middle Ages almost became French. He tracks down the origins of English respect for the rule of law, tolerance and a love of political stability. And, when he reaches Victorian times, he investigates the arrogance and snobbishness that have sometimes blighted English behaviour.
Finally, Taylor looks ahead. He asks – faced with uncharted waters post-Brexit, what is it is in their national character that will help guide the English people now?
New York conference: Derek Taylor gives keynote speech on
to see a video of "Magna Carta: tyranny, treachery and liberty"
Derek's Magna Carta event at the US's biggest book festival
The Brooklyn Book Festival in New York will host a conversation with Derek about his book "Magna Carta in 20 Places" on 20th September. The event which attracts 25,000 attendees broadcast throughout the US on the cable network C Span
Follow Derek on Twitter
To buy Derek's earlier book
Magna Carta in 20 Places
"Taylor possesses that terrific journalistic zest that so often eludes academics, and knows how to tell a story."
Derek's next book will be published
by The History Press
Who do the English
think they are?
From the Anglo-Saxons to Brexit.
A history of English national identity, told through 20 places where the best - and the worst - qualities of the English were formed.
Pre-order your copy of
Who do the English think they are?