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Newham Bookshop events at The Wanstead Tap, Spring 2024
  • Thursday 7 Mar at 7.30 pm

    Jon Cruddas
    A Century of Labour

  • Saturday 9 Mar at 7.30 pm

    Michael Rosen
    Going Through It

  • Tuesday 12 Mar at 7.30 pm

    Mary McGlory & Sylvia Saunders: The Liverbirds

  • Thursday 14 Mar at 7.30 pm

    Lynne Jones: Sorry for the Inconvenience…

  • Wednesday 20 March at 7.30 pm

    Ladies Who London LIVE!
    with Leo Hollis: Inheritance

  • Thursday 18 April at 7.30 pm

    Sarah Wise
    The Undesirables

  • Thursday 25 April at 7.30 pm

    Andrew Whitehead
    A Devilish Kind Of Courage




Newham Bookshop by Pete Fallan
Newham Bookshop, Pete Fallan, March 2021.


Conway Hall event – order a copy of Imagining England’s Past
Please select:
Imagining England's Past by Susan Owens
Imagining England’s Past is published by Thames & Hudson in hardback at £25.

Susan Owens

Imagining England’s Past

Inspiration, Enchantment, Obsession

Imagining England’s Past takes a long look at the country’s invented histories, from the glamorous to the disturbing, from the eighth century to the present day. England has long built its sense of self on visions of its past. What does it mean for medieval writers to summon King Arthur from the post-Roman fog; for William Morris to resurrect the skills of the medieval workshop and Julia Margaret Cameron to portray the Arthurian court with her Victorian camera; or for Yinka Shonibare in the final years of the twentieth century to visualize a Black Victorian dandy? By exploring the imaginations of successive generations, this book reveals how diverse notions of the past have inspired literature, art, music, architecture and fashion.

It shines a light on subjects from myths to mock-Tudor houses, Stonehenge to steampunk, and asks how – and why – the past continues so powerfully to shape the present. Not a history of England, but a history of those who have written, painted and dreamed it into being, Imagining England’s Past offers a lively, erudite account of the making and manipulation of the days of old.

“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!” — Charlotte Mullins, broadcaster, art critic and author of A Little History of Art.