This book is an excursion through a very small dense area of Northern England, an "Alcove" as Robb calls it, that has been not lost per se, but well overlooked, a misty half-mythic landscape. This book is for anyone who loves obtuse or old maps and stories of reivers and highwaymen. Robb traverses the land and History by bicycle or on foot. Almost a Time/ travel log. This is a great follow up to his book, Discovery of Middle Earth.— Maeve Noonan
An oft-overlooked region lies at the heart of British national history: the Debatable Land. The oldest detectable territorial division in Great Britain, the Debatable Land once served as a buffer between England and Scotland. It was once the bloodiest region in the country, fought over by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and James V. After most of its population was slaughtered or deported, it became the last part of Great Britain to be brought under the control of the state. Today, its boundaries have vanished from the map and are matters of myth and generational memories. In The Debatable Land, historian Graham Robb recovers the history of this ancient borderland in an exquisite tale that spans Roman, Medieval, and present-day Britain. Rich in detail and epic in scope, The Debatable Land provides a crucial, missing piece in the puzzle of British history.