Publication Date: 19/10/2023 ISBN: 9780241669631 Category:

The Britannias

Alice Albinia

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication Date: 19/10/2023 ISBN: 9780241669631 Category:


Out of stock



‘A dazzlingly brilliant book’ Hannah Dawson

‘Fascinating, often exhilarating … Albinia is an intrepid, imaginative guide’ TLS

The Britannias tells the story of Britain’s islands and how they are woven into its collective cultural psyche.

From Neolithic Orkney to modern-day Thanet, Alice Albinia explores the furthest reaches of Britain’s island topography, once known (wrote Pliny) by the collective term, Britanniae. Sailing over borders, between languages and genres, trespassing through the past to understand the present, this book knocks the centre out to foreground neglected epics and subversive voices.

The ancient mythology of islands ruled by women winds through the literature of the British Isles – from Roman colonial-era reports, to early Irish poetry, Renaissance drama to Restoration utopias – transcending and subverting the most male-fixated of ages. The Britannias looks far back into the past for direction and solace, while searching for new meaning about women’s status in the body politic. Boldly upturning established truths about Britain, it pays homage to the islands’ beauty, independence and their suppressed or forgotten histories.

Publisher Review

A dazzlingly brilliant book. Travelling by boat, swimming through kelp, riding on a fishing trawler, Alice Albinia takes us on an extraordinary journey around the British isles, revealing a liquid past where women ruled and mermaids sang and tracing the sea-changes of her own heart. -- Hannah Dawson PRAISE FOR EMPIRES OF THE INDUS: A magnificent book, a triumphant melding of travel and history into a compelling story of adventure and discovery. * Financial Times * Impressive and original... In the course of her journey, Albinia encounters all kinds of danger, and at times her courage tips her into foolhardiness... This, however, is the behaviour we expect of the best kind of travel writer. * Daily Telegraph * Spellbinding... an impressive achievement. * New Statesman * PRAISE FOR CWEM: 'A wild, original, surefooted feminist reimagining of the present and the past that brushes up against the mythical. It reminds us, eloquently and passionately, what is or can be possible, and in its depiction of a revolutionary becomes revolutionary itself. Beautiful work' -- Neel Mukherjee A wild ride! She sees Graves' White Goddess and raises 50 with female magic and transformations. -- Margaret Atwood Magical, rich and magnificent. -- Maxine Peake

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