Beatles in, Queen Victoria out; 50 key dates

"TV presenter and historian Dan Snow, English Heritage expert Anna Keay and historian Laurence Westgaph, take viewers on a fascinating journey through our nation’s history, singling out the 50 moments they believe have helped define what it means to be British. "

This has cause an outbreak of hives among those who consider that there is a set, official History of the British Isles Which Is and Must Forever remain Inviolate. Apparently Queen Victoria has been left out of the 'fascinating journey'; well, let's see whether it makes much difference to the agenda which this series clearly has - the definition of what it means to be British in these multicultural, caring, 'fair and moderate' times (their words, not mine).

Personally, I think the history which I was taught (lots of dates, Kings, wars, battles, a bit of engineering and the South Sea Bubble) was as good an indicator of the nature of the British character during the lifetimes of my generation and those before it as any. Now the British character is represented by a very different set of markers, which, being conservative, I don't like or consider to be a progression at all (plus ça change...). History generally consists of extremely boring episodes of farming and toothache interspersed with extreme violence (the bits written about and remembered) and the people who direct the violence are the ones whose names get into the books. Still, it's only a programme on the telly.. mustn't get excited...

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