Under Another Sky : Journeys in Roman Britain
This is shortlisted for the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize. This is a book about the encounter with Roman Britain: about what the idea of 'Roman Britain' has meant to those who came after Britain's 400-year stint as province of Rome - from the medieval mythographer-historian Geoffrey of Monmouth to Edward Elgar and W.H. Auden.
What does Roman Britain mean to us now? How were its physical remains rediscovered and made sense of? How has it been reimagined, in story and song and verse? Charlotte Higgins has traced these tales by setting out to discover the remains of Roman Britain for herself, sometimes on foot, sometimes in a splendid, though not particularly reliable, VW camper van. Via accounts of some of Britain's most intriguing, and often unjustly overlooked ancient monuments, Under Another Sky invites us to see the British landscape, and British history, in an entirely fresh way: as indelibly marked by how the Romans first imagined, and wrote, these strange and exotic islands, perched on the edge of the known world, into existence.