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The Debatable Land - Graham Robb

The Debatable Land - Graham Robb

Title: The Debatable Land

Author:  Graham Robb

ISBN:  9781509804689

Weight:  875g

Signed first edition, first printing



Sorry, sold out

Our price:  £20.00

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The Debatable Land by Graham Robb

The Debatable Land was an independent territory which used to exist between Scotland and England.  At the height of its notoriety, it was the bloodiest region in Great Britain, fought over by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James V.  After the Union of the Crowns, most of its population was slaughtered or deported and it became the last part of the country to be brought under the control of the state.  Today, its history has been forgotten or ignored.

When Graham Robb moved to a lonely house on the very edge of England, he discovered that the river which almost surrounded his new home had once marked the Debatable Land’s southern boundary.  Under the powerful spell of curiosity, Robb began a journey – on foot, by bicycle and into the past – that would uncover lost towns and roads, reveal the truth about this maligned patch of land and result in more than one discovery of major historical significance.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, The Debatable Land takes us from a time when neither England nor Scotland could be imagined to the present day, when contemporary nationalism and political turmoil threaten to unsettle the cross-border community once more.  Writing with his customary charm, wit and literary grace, Graham Robb proves the Debatable Land to be a crucial, missing piece in the puzzle of British history.

Peer & Press Reviews

A detective outing on native soil.  Armed with energy, humour, a poet’s eye and a bicycle – all things his fans will be familiar with – Robb probes the received wisdoms of the past…  His skill as a writer is to understand, without being fey, the fourth dimension: peeling back the modern landscape to find buried stories.


Diverting asides animate Robb’s revelatory account of this oft-overlooked and understudied part of the United Kingdom…  The Debatable Land ends with a brace of discoveries.  The first is a key to understanding Ptolemy’s second-century map of Britain, hitherto thought inaccurate, which will surely be invaluable to future historians.  The second is the earliest account told from a British point of view of a major battle in these islands.  This is all fascinating.

Alan Taylor, Literary Review

It’s a book worth reading… it contains several glories, much fine writing and the odd (very odd) wonder.

Andrew Marr, Sunday Times;

Bibliographic Info

Title:The Debatable Land
Book Features
Edition / printing:First edition, first printing
Edition features:

The main body of the book is 239 pages, which includes two 8-page sections of images / photographs (both colour & monochrome) and greyscale maps.

The front matter has an additional 6 pages:

Contents [2]
List of Illustrations [2]
List of Figures [1]
Guide to Pronunciation [1]

The back matter has a further 91 pages:

Appendix [23]
Chronology [5]
Notes [27]
Works Cited [18]
General Index [8]
Geographical Index [8]
Acknowledgements [2]

Overall condition:Fine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
Signed:On the title page
Book Stats
Publisher:Pan Macmillan
Publication date:
Printed by:CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon
ISBN 13:9781509804689
ISBN 10:1509804684
Format:Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages:239 [main body]
Size (h x w x d):242 x 162 x 34mm
Image and Design Credits
Design:Ami Smithson, Pan Macmillan Art Department
Illustrations:Standardised by Global Blended Learning (re-drawn from originals by Graham Robb)
Jacket photographs:Elliot Simpson

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