I have quite enjoyed writing these thumbnail sketches and hope that they have sparked some interest in this nation’s history; it really is not a dull subject.
My book, There was a Time, is, I believe, the only published account of the past 300 years of Britain’s role in the world. I have not set out to re-invent the wheel, so have based the book on selective secondary sources which have been attributed and generally agreed to be factual. That said, there are some expressions of opinion included and are clearly identifiable as such.
I like to think that the book is worth every penny of its cover price, amounting as it does to the equivalent of 30 cigarettes, 4 pints of beer or a cinema ticket. Unless somebody does it better, this book could be the easiest reference to a country that is currently about sixth in the world rankings as an economic power but which bestrode the globe for two hundred years before the inevitability of the rise and decline factors eventually prevailed.
In the past two centuries Great Britain actually performed two quite different roles. In the 19th century she was mainly occupied with the establishment and strengthening of her own imperial status and harvesting the wealth which that position generated. In the first half of the 20th however, events in Europe revealed an altruism which surprised some, beginning with her intervention in 1914 following the German violation of Belgian territory, honouring her long-established Treaty obligation, and again in 1939 when Adolph Hitler’s progressive rape of Europe had to be confronted.
I am actually very proud of this country and its achievements which matured into a high sense of moral authority, expressed by its resistance to European bullies and despots at a very high cost in both blood and treasure. It is this author’s view that the world could only have been a much darker place had Britain not held out long enough for the cavalry, in the form of the USSR and later the USA, to relieve the burden in 1941. Those opinions will, I feel fairly sure, enter future history books not as opinions but as actual, generally accepted facts.
If anyone has already read the book, perhaps I could ask you to ‘comment’ on it through my website therewasatimebook.co.uk , as I would be delighted to see the interest in it translated into book sales. For many it might also be of interest to their parents and/or their children. Everyone should surely be entitled to know something of their heritage especially as, for the future population of Britain at least, they are unlikely to be taught it in school?