One of the foremost experts in British regional and national affairs, Brian Groom talks about his new book Northerners: A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day, the definitive biography of the north of England as told through the lives of its inhabitants.
In a sweeping narrative that takes us from the earliest times to the present day, the book shows how the people of the north have shaped Britain and the world in unexpected ways.
At least six Roman emperors ruled from York. The Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was Europe’s leading cultural and intellectual centre. Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes, deserves to be as famous as Boudica. Neanderthals and Vikings, Central European Jews, Afro-Caribbeans and South Asians, have all played their part in the making and remaking of the north. Northern writers, activists, artists and comedians are celebrated the world over, from Wordsworth, the Brontës and Gaskell to LS Lowry, Emmeline Pankhurst and Peter Kay. St Oswald and Bede shaped the spiritual and cultural landscapes of Britain and Europe, and the world was revolutionised by the inventions of Richard Arkwright and the Stephensons. The north has exported some of sport’s biggest names and defined the sound of generations, from the Beatles to Britpop.
Northerners also explores how the past echoes down the centuries, the north-south divide and the divisions between northerners, such as the rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Finally, Brian Groom explores what northernness means today and the crucial role the north can play in Britain’s future.
Brian Groom is a writer and journalist who started his career at the Goole Times and moved on to work as a writer and section editor for the Financial Times and as editor of Scotland on Sunday.
‘Brian Groom is one of the most respected journalists of his generation – an essential writer on politics and business and a tireless champion of the north.’ George Parker, political editor, Financial Times
Location: Huddersfield Library
Age guidance: 12+ (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)