"Uninvaded Since 1066:
The Uniqueness of British History"
by Andrew Roberts
on Tuesday, 16 November 2004
The Jardine Penthouse, 48/F Jardine House, One Connaught Place
Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm
"This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demiparadise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England"
Richard II (2i)
We are delighted to welcome to Hong Kong Andrew Roberts for the first of his series of lectures in our historical geography week. In this lecture, Mr. Roberts considers in what sense British history can be considered unique. Among all the 250 countries and territories of the world, uniquely no invasion has succeeded against England for 938 years. Mr. Roberts considers this extraordinary history and how this has affected the way the British view themselves and their history. Since 1745, while Europe has suffered recurrent civil and religious wars, dictatorship and totalitarianism, revolutions and rampaging armies, Britain has enjoyed evolutionary political development under an increasingly constitutional monarchy. While herself ruling almost a third of the world, she has herself has remained free. Mr. Roberts considers how this has profoundly influenced Britain's view of herself as both separate and profoundly different from the rest of Europe. Andrew Roberts is one of the world's most distinguished historians. His biography of the Earl of Halifax, published in 1991, established his reputation, followed by Eminent Churchillians in 1994. In 1999, he published Salisbury: Victorian Titan, in 2001 Napoleon and Wellington, in 2003 Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership and, in 2004, What Might Have Been, a collection of twelve 'What If?' essays written by distinguished historians. Mr. Roberts is currently writing a book entitled A History of the EnglishSpeaking Peoples Since 1900, bringing the story from the point that Sir Winston Churchill ended his Nobelprize winning fourvolume work to the present day, to be published in 2006. Mr. Roberts has received some 20 literary awards for his works, appears regularly on television and radio and writes for numerous newspapers and magazines. This lecture is being held in the fine surroundings of the Jardine Penthouse. Members and their guests are most welcome to attend at HK$100 for Members, HK$150 for Members' guests and HK$200 for others. This includes a complimentary drinks reception prior to the lecture.