By Jonathan Raban
Placed Jonathan Raban on a ship and the consequences could be interesting, and not extra so than while he’s crusing round the serpentine, 2,000-mile coast of his local England. during this acutely perceived and fantastically written booklet, the bestselling writer of Bad Land turns that voyage–which coincided with the Falklands struggle of 1982-into an social gathering for meditations on his kingdom, his formative years, and the elusive proposal of domestic.
Whether he’s talking to bored tax exiles at the Isle of guy, wrestling down a mainsail in the course of a giant gale, or crashing a Scottish residence get together the place the kilted visitors change into americans, Raban is alert to the slightest nuance of that means. you can still learn Coasting for his distinct naturalistic descriptions or his mordant reviews at the new England, the place the important looks the promoting of Englishness. yet one constantly reads it with excitement.
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Extra resources for Coasting: A Private Voyage
He had, he told the French chronicler Commynes, been on the run since the age of five; he had had none of the training in English government, justice and war that had, for instance, been Henry V’s kingly apprenticeship. What he did have, however, was a hard upbringing in the realities of fifteenth-century diplomacy and politics. He had studied the kingship of the French kings at first hand. His models were, therefore, continental: one commentator would later observe that he ‘would like to govern in the French fashion’.
220–41. Elton, G. , ‘Henry VII: rapacity and remorse’, Historical Journal, 1 (1958), 21–39. Elton, G. , ‘Henry VII: a restatement’, Historical Journal, 4 (1961), 1–29. Griffiths, R. A. , The Making of the Tudor Dynasty (Gloucester, 1985). Grummitt, David, ‘Henry VII, ‘Chamber finance and the “New Monarchy”: some new evidence’, Historical Research, 72 (1999), 229–43. Grummitt, David, ‘ “For the Surety of the Towne and Marches”: early Tudor policy towards Calais 1485–1509’, Nottingham Medieval Studies, 44 (2000), 184–203.
This excluded the local gentry from influence and the backlash was apparent in their failure to turn out for the king and fight against the Cornish rebels in 1497. Henry’s natural tendency, unlike Edward IV, was to support the royal official rather than the local interest in these cases. This may have damaged local harmony in the short term but, crucially, in the long term reinforced the view that the crown was the ultimate authority. Moreover, it is by no means apparent that the growth of the royal affinity in the localities was a bad thing for local order and government everywhere.