United Kingdom Reads
Reading list inspiration for travel
City and region specific
Books & eBooks
- Brittania in Brief: The Scoop on All Things BritishView on Amazon A light, funny look at all manner of British history, society, culture, language and everyday life. By Leslie Banker and William Mullins.
- Cameron: Practically a ConservativeView on Amazon An in-depth profile of the country's prime minister. By Francis Elliott and James Hanning.
- Empire of TeaView on Amazon With a particular focus on India's Assam, two highly-respected anthropologists explore the way tea has shaped politics, culture, and the environment throughout history. By Iris MacFarlane and Alan MacFarlane.
- England and Other StoriesView on Amazon In this collection of twenty-five stories, the author presents a richly peopled vision of a country that is both a crucible of history and a maze of contemporary confusions. By Graham Swift.
- Merchant KingsView on Amazon Examining the rise and fall of company rule in the centuries before colonialism, the author profiles the merchant-adventurers that led the Dutch East India Company, the Dutch West India Company, the British East India Company, the Russian-American Company, De Beers, and the Hudson’s Bay Company. By Stephen R Bown.
- Pulpits, Lecterns & Organs in English ChurchesView on Archive.org A fascinating, detailed look at these trademark church features. By J. Charles Cox.
- The Ancient CeltsView on Amazon In this erudite and profusely illustrated history, the author explores the archaeological reality of these bold warriors and skilled craftsmen of barbarian Europe who inspired fear in the Greeks and Romans. By Barry Cunliffe.
- The Mother Tongue – English and How it Got That WayView on Amazon With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, the author explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience and sheer fun of the English language. By Bill Bryson.
- Tudors: The History of England from Henry VII to Elizabeth IView on Amazon The story of the Tudors, the English Reformation and the making of the Anglican Church. By Peter Ackroyd.
- Walking Home: A Poet’s JourneyView on Amazon Nineteen days, 256 miles and one renowned poet walking the backbone of England, the Pennine Way. By Simon Armitage.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “Cod Comeback: How The North Sea Fishery Bounced Back From The Brink”View on npr.org A decade ago, fishermen trying to catch North Sea cod were coming up empty. Now, thanks to strict fishing rules put in place to halt the decline, this fish tale looks headed for a happy ending. The article is accompanied by a podcast. By Ari Shapiro.
- “Follow the Money”View on London Review of Books The evolution and economics of English football. By David Conn.
- “Harold Pinter, The Art of Theater No. 3”View on TheParisReview.org A thoughtful interview with the great playwright. By Larry Bensky.
- “Let’s Call It Failure”View on London Review of Books A look at the UK's finances. By John Lanchester.
- “Linksland and Bottle”View on NewYorker.com The British Open. By John McPhee.
- “Spirit Guide”View on NewYorker.com Reinventing a great scotch whisky distillery. By John Jeremiah Sullivan.
- “The Changing of the Guard: British Firms in the Port Trade, 1777-1840”View on berkeley.edu The dynamic nature of British control of Porto's famous fortified wine exports. By Paul Duguid.
- “The Day of the Knotweed”View on harpers.org Battling Britain’s most destructive invasive plant. By Sam Knight.
- “The Rule of History”View on NewYorker.com Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, and the hold of time. By Jill Lepore.
- “The Wool Trade In English Medieval History”View on mcmaster.ca This scholarly article offers a thorough review of the woolen cloth trade that dominated the medieval economies of England, Flanders and Florence. By Eileen Power.
Online Sources & Blogs
- British RecipesVisit JamieOliver.com The best British recipes from one of the UK's most famous chefs.
- Canal and River TrustVisit canalrivertrust.org A guide to the country's network of 2,000 miles of canals and rivers. Tip: take a walk along the canal's of East London.
- English HeritageVisit english-heritage.org.uk An excellent site to get information on over 400 nationally-protected historic places, including Bath, Stonehenge and Stratford-upon-Avon.
- Recipes: Preserves and JamsVisit BritishLarder.com A collection of recipes for making and using traditional British jams and preserves.
- Sanquhar Gloves: A Living Scottish TraditionVisit centerforknitandcrochet.org A fascinating online exhibition of Sanquhar gloves, a distinctive fashion accessory from the small Scottish town of the same name.
- The National Trust for ScotlandVisit nts.org.uk Comprehensive site for finding out more about Scotland's cultural sites.
- World Bank | United KingdomVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
- Yale Lectures on John MiltonVisit youtube.com Yale University Professor John Rogers offers a complete course on Milton's poetry, with some attention to his literary sources, his contemporaries, his controversial prose and his decisive influence on the course of English poetry.
- Sport and the British | Beating Us at Our Own GameListen on bbc.co.uk Clare Balding takes a look at Britain's most successful export ever - football. Yet in giving it to others, the British lost control of the game they had created and crafted.
- The Art of Monarchy | FaithListen on bbc.co.uk A thousand years of monarchical history tell us that one crucial relationship for a monarch is with the church. BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz explores this relationship by looking at pieces from the Royal Collection.
Just for Kids
Who to Follow
- Twitter: Aesthetica MagazineFollow @AestheticaMag Visual art, photography, culture, film, music and performance.
- Twitter: British Council ArtsFollow @BritishArts Curating the best of British arts for a global audience. Constantly making connections in the arts across 110 countries.
- Twitter: Charlotte HigginsFollow @chiggi For an insider's look at the arts scene
- Twitter: Emma HoganFollow @hoganem Britain correspondent, The Economist, and keeper of The Economist Explains blog.
- Twitter: London Review of BooksFollow @LRB For the most insightful, thoughtful articles on London and the world.