“Our Island Story”
Press comment and reviews
"Our Island Story is ... cutting edge. With its brave mix of truth and myth, it is impeccably postmodern."
"Our Island Story, first published in 1905, must rank as one of the most influential works of history of the 20th century."
"I used to read it to my son Henry who now, aged eight, reads it himself for pleasure, and he gets precisely the same thrill from history as I did a third of a century ago."
"The delight of Our Island Story lies in its emphasis on personality, in the unalloyed certainty that Britain has produced some remarkable people, and some extraordinary tales....As a sentiment that may be unfashionable, but it is surely true."
"In a world where young people believe Admiral Nelson is a pub, it is a delight the think tank Civitas is to republish Our Island Story, one of the great children's history books of all time."
"Our Island Story is so beautifully told and charmingly illustrated that it deserves to be regarded as more than a mere curio. Moreover, its tight focus on the virtues of courage, wisdom and patriotism keep it both valuable and relevant."
"Marshall's handsomely reprinted history of England for children Our Island Story ... an unashamedly patriotic mixture of myth and history ... its place on the bookshelf is next to Robinson Crusoe rather than school text-books."
"I was given H.E. Marshall's Our Island Story at Christmas 1936 and I've still got that copy. It was a direct inspiration for me in my career as a historian. Many of the subjects that I have written on over the years were inspired by Our Island Story: Mary Queen of Scots, Charles II, even Boadicea. It is extraordinarily evocative to a child's imagination and, indeed, I used to read it to my own children."
"The best book of all for 8-12s is HE Marshall’s Our Island Story, republished at last in stirringly patriotic glory. The history of Britain from the Roman invasion to Queen Victoria it is precisely the kind of old-fashioned, sequential, kings and queens, history-as-story approach which the National Curriculum has jettisoned so disastrously. Clear, vivid, dramatic narrative will inspire a new generation of historians. Every child should have this book."