Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.
With reviews of books that cover these topics
A story of invasion, uprising and conflict
Paul C Levitt Pen & Sword, 2019
God’s Own Country has hosted a lot of unbelievers over the centuries, almost always unwillingly. Levitt does a good job of conjuring the key tales that formed the county as we know it today. If anyone needs a reminder of how gory and distasteful life in England was until say the 18th Century, this is as good a place to start as any other. He sets out well why the county town, York, was chosen by the Romans as a military headquarters, and the importance of the Humber and its tributaries as a conduit for colonisation by the Vikings and the Romans.
There are lengthy tracts from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which portray the post-nuclear wasteland that was the fate of much of Northern England in the century after the Norman Conquest. Horrible times. The book inevitably tells much of the travails of the whole nation, as it does just of Yorkshire.
The author is very at home in the mediaeval period. He is also from Beverley, and one of my main criticisms of the book is that the narrative is over-weighted to that city, and the East Riding, to the detriment of the rest of the county. Secondly, 95% of the book covers the period up to the 18th century. This reader feels that the 20th Century receives scant treatment – there is, for example, no mention of the Yorkshire Pals in the Great War.
Fascinating in parts, but more modern times are under-served.