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Important figures in British life talk about what Europe means to them
How are great turning points in history experienced by individuals?
As Britain pulls away from Europe great British writers come together to give voice to their innermost feelings. These writers include novelists, writers of books for children, of comic books, humourists, historians, biographers, nature writers, film writers, travel writers, writers young and old and from an extraordinary range of backgrounds. Most are famous perhaps because they have won the Booker or other literary prizes, written bestsellers, changed the face of popular culture or sold millions of records. Others are not yet household names but write with depth of insight and feeling.
There is some extraordinary writing in this book. Some of these pieces are expressions of love of particular places in Europe. Some are true stories, some nostalgic, some hopeful. Some are cries of pain. There are hilarious pieces. There are cries of pain and regret. Some pieces are quietly devastating. All are passionate.
Conceived as a love letter to Europe, this book may also help reawaken love for Britain. It shows the unique richness and diversity of British cultures, a multitude of voices in harmony.
Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Philip Ardagh, Jake Arnott, Patricia Atkinson, Paul Atterbury, Richard Beard, Mary Beard, Don Boyd, Melvyn Bragg, Gyles Brandreth, Kathleen Burke, James Buxton, Philip Carr, Brian Catling, Shami Chakrabarti, Chris Cleave, Mark Cocker, Peter Conradi , Heather Cooper, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Roger Crowley, David Crystal, William Dalrymple, Lindsey Davies, Margaret Drabble, Mark Ellen, Richard Evans, Michel Faber, Sebastian Faulks, Ranulph Fiennes, Robert Fox, James Fox, Neil Gaiman, Evelyn Glennie, James Hanning, Nick Hayes, Alan Hollinghurst, Gabby Hutchinson-Crouch, Will Hutton, Robert Irwin, Holly Johnson , Liane Jones, Ruth Jones, Sam Jordison, Kapka Kassabova, AL Kennedy, Hermione Lee, Prue Leith, Patrick Lenox, Roger Lewis, David Lindo, Penelope Lively, Beth Lync, Richard Mabey, Sue MacGregor, Ian Martin, Frank McDonough, Jonathan Meades, Andrew Miller, Deborah Moggach, Ben Moor, Alan Moore, Paul Morley, Jackie Morris, Charles Nicholl, Richard Overy, Chris Riddell, Adam Roberts, Tony Robinson, Lee Rourke, Sophie Sabbage, Marcus Sedgwick, Richard Shirreff, Paul Stanford, Isy Suttie, Sandi Toksvig, Colin Tudge, Ed Vulliamy, Anna Whitelock, Kate Williams, Michael Wood, Louisa Young
Melvyn Bragg (Author)
Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster whose first novel, For Want of a Nail, was published in 1965. His novels since include The Maid of Buttermere, The Soldier's Return, Credo and Now is the Time, which won the Parliamentary Book Award for fiction in 2016. His books have also been awarded the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the WHSmith Literary Award, and have been longlisted three times for the Booker Prize (including the Lost Man Booker Prize).
He has also written several works of non-fiction, including The Adventure of English and The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.
Simon Callow (Author)
Simon Callow is an actor, director and writer. He was born in London and made his London debut in 'The Plumber's Progress' in 1975. He has performed in numerous theatres, taking the lead roles at the RSC and the National Theatre, and his film appearances include 'Amadeus', 'A Room with a View', and 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'. He made his directorial debut with the film of Carson McCuller's 'Ballad of the Sad Cafe', and has directed several new plays in fringe theatres, and two operas. He has published two autobiographical books: 'Being an Actor', and 'Shooting the Actor'.
Tracey Emin (Author)
Tracey Emin was born in 1963 to an English mother and Turkish father, and grew up in Margate. She left school at 15, but later studied Fine Art at Maidstone and went on to the Royal College of Art. She is now an internationally renowned artist whose work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the world. Although known as a visual artist, Tracey Emin's confessional writings have always formed the backbone to her work and in 2005 she published her memoir, Strangeland, drawing together new and revised work from the previous 25 years.
In 2007, she was elected as a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts, where she is now a Professor of Drawing and in 2013 she was appointed CBE.
Pete Townshend (Author)
Pete Townshend is the lead guitarist and principal songwriter of The Who - one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide - and the composer of the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia.
Philip Ardagh (Author)
Philip Ardagh is the Roald Dahl Funny Prize-winning author of over 100 children's titles.
Mary Beard (Author)
Mary Beard is a professor of classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and the classics editor of the TLS. Her books include the bestselling, Wolfson Prize-winning Pompeii, The Parthenon, Confronting the Classics