'Susan Owens conjures our imagined past with such vivacity and lyricism that I can see the dawn mist rising over fabled fields and hear the tread of fictional histories on the worn stairs of yesteryear. Packed full of myths, stories, poems and paintings I found this book impossible to put down!'
'England has dreamed itself a past – with tenderness and wit, Susan Owens shows how that dream sustains and deludes us'
Matthew Sweet, author and broadcaster
'The nationalist nostalgia so evident in today’s discourse has deep roots … The ideal past never existed, so it had to be constructed from clues, whether they be Arthurian tales, or the objects studied by the Society of Antiquaries (founded in 1586), Owens ties it together through a strikingly broad frame of reference and an eye for the telling object or episode'
'English identity has been steeped in an invented past, which keeps on being reinvented. This lively study traces its journey from Stonehenge to steampunk'
'Via blitz spirit, Brexit and more than one coronation, Owens charts the nostalgic myth-making mania to today'
World of Interiors
'A fascinating study of the ways various generations of the English have conceived of their nation’s history … The book ranges widely to show an England that has always had more than a bit of the mystical about it'