From ancient times to the present day, the story of England has been laced with drama - a rich and vibrant narrative of heroes and villains, kings and rebels, artists and scientists.
We begin in 7150 BC with the life and death of Cheddar Man; we witness the Roman victory celebrations of AD 43, where a squadron of elephants paraded through Colchester; and take in 1381 when Wat Tyler led the Peasants' Revolt.
We hear of the battle of Agincourt when Henry V's bowmen defeated French armour, and 'The Protestant Wind' - King William and Mary and the Glorious Revolution.
Then comes the modern history of Britain: Robert Lacey explains the Luddite name, and how the Mutiny on the Bounty is attributed to fruit. But perhaps most significantly, he traces the extraordinary changes in science and technology, from unbending belief in the book of Genesis to the scientific revolution in genetics. This is history with pace, punch and personality.