Through November and December, we’re casting a weekly spotlight on some of the best books based or published in the East of England, courtesy of the East Anglian Book Awards 2023.
Now in their sixteenth year, the awards celebrate the very best of publishing, writing, and reading in the region. The East Anglian Book Awards are a partnership between Jarrolds, the Eastern Daily Press, and the National Centre for Writing, supported by UEA Faculty of Arts & Humanities.
History & Tradition
Judged by Amanda Hopkinson, Senior Fellow, University of East Anglia, and Victoria Manthorpe, biographer and local historian
For anyone interested in local archaeology and geology…
Exploring Norfolk’s Deep History Coast by Dr John A. Davies and Dr David M.G. Waterhouse (The History Press)
Norfolk’s Deep History Coast is a place of unique archaeological and palaeontological discoveries of international significance. Spectacular finds have transformed our understanding of the first human occupation of northern Europe and fossilised human footprints show people were here nearly a million years ago. This is the only part of Britain to have evidence of four species of humans, and it has also been home to giant prehistoric creatures, including three species of mammoth.
This book will take you on a journey through time, looking at the geology, natural landscape and the creatures that have inhabited the area. Here you can explore the fascinating and beautiful sites around the 150km of Deep History Coast and see how you can share in this exciting adventure of discovery.
Our judges said:
‘A fascinating and accessible account of recent analyses of discoveries beneath the sand, soil and rock, from Lynn to Hunstanton, and from the palaeotological to geological; archaeological to anthropological by two accomplished experts in the field.’
For fans of lyrical historical writing…
The Road by Christopher Hadley (HarperCollins)
For two thousand years, the roads the Romans built have determined the flow of ideas and folktales, where battles were fought and where pilgrims trod. Almost everyone in Britain lives close to a Roman road, if only we knew where to look.
In the beginning was Watling Street, the first road scored on the land when the invading Romans arrived on a cold and alien Kentish shore in 43 CE. Campaign roads rolled out to all points of the compass, forcing their way inland and as the Britons fell back, the roads pursued them relentlessly, carrying troops, supplies and military despatches. In the years of fighting that followed, as the legions pushed onwards across what is now England, into Wales and north into Scotland in search of booty, mineral wealth, land and tribute, they left behind a vast road network, linking marching camps and forts, changing the landscape, etching the story of the Roman advance into the face of the land, channelling our lives today.
Christopher Hadley, the acclaimed author of Hollow Places, takes us on a lyrical journey into this past, retracing and searching for an elusive Roman road that sprang from one of the busiest road hubs in Roman Britain.
Our judges said:
‘The author sets out to discover the route and remains of a Roman road running from Braughing near Ware in Hertfordshire to Great Chesterford, south of Saffron Walden in Essex. On the way he leads us through some delightful and thoughtful excursions into nineteen hundred years of history and literature.’
For anyone who wants to discover more about the textile industy…
Norwich Textiles: A Global Story 1750-1840 by Michael Nix (Costume and Textile Association)
This is the first comprehensive account of Norwich’s textile industry in the second half of the eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth century.
The book covers the sourcing of wool, the production in East Anglia and in Ireland of worsted yarn, the processes in Norwich and Norfolk involved in turning this yarn into highly desirable and beautiful stuffs, and the trading and marketing of these fabrics in Europe, the Americas, China and elsewhere.
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