A Short History of Europe

There can hardly have been more saturation coverage in the British media than that over Brexit. Every minute aspect of this awful car crash is analysed to death on a daily basis. It now seems unstoppable that on 29 March 2019 The United Kingdom will divorce itself from The European Union. We still don’t know in November 2018 upon what terms this separation will take place.


Many divorced couples, strangely, get to know one another better after separation. Distance offers a wiser estimation. We are all going to discover what we’ve lost, and what a terrible costly mistake has been made. Prime yourself with a history of Britain’s soon to be estranged partner with this short account by Simon Jenkins (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Jenkins)


Europe has for two millennia been a remarkably successful continent. Jenkins tells the story of its development from a battlefield of warring tribes to a civilisation of relative peace, wealth and freedom. It’s a story that twists and turns from Greece and Rome, through the Middle Ages, Reformation and French Revolution, to the two World Wars and the present day. The author presents individuals from Julius Caesar and Joan of Arc, to Wellington and Angela Merkel, as well as cultural figures from Aristotle to Shakespeare and Picasso.


Tracing themes down the ages, from youthful ambition and religious conflict to geographical constraints and invasion, Jenkins brings together the key forces and dominant periods into one chronological narrative – with his usual insight, colour and style. While experiencing almost constant turbulence, Europe has left an indelible mark on the world. We learn how one small continent became so powerful; how diverse peninsulas and islands, over time, developed a collective consciousness; when and how its internal diplomacy often collapsed into bloodshed and war. This concise account, covering the key events, eras and individuals, could not be more timely or masterful.


Check if this newly published history is in stock at your local library here by consulting the online catalogue at




400 pages in Viking

First published November 2018

ISBN 978-0241352502



Simon Jenkins

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