Blood of the Isles

Blood of the Isles

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Description

Bryan Sykes, the world's first genetic archaeologist, takes us on a journey around the family tree of Britain and Ireland, to reveal how our tribal history still colours the country today. In 54BC, Julius Caesar launched the first Roman invasion of Britain. His was the first detailed account of the Celtic tribes that inhabited the Isles. But where had they come from and how long had they been there? When the Romans eventually left five hundred years later, they were succeeded by invasions of Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans. Did these successive invasions obliterate the genetic legacy of the Celts, or have very little effect? After two decades tracing the genetic origins of peoples from all over the world, Bryan Sykes has now turned the spotlight on his own back yard. In a major research programme, the first of its kind, he set out to test the DNA of over 10,000 volunteers from across Britain and Ireland with the specific aim of answering this very question: what is our modern genetic make-up and what does it tell us of our tribal past? Are the modern people of the Isles a delicious genetic cocktail? Or did the invaders keep mostly to themselves forming separate genetic layers within the Isles? As his findings came in, Bryan Sykes discovered that the genetic evidence revealed often very different stories to the conventional accounts coming from history and archaeology. "Blood of the Isles" reveals the nature of our genetic make-up as never before and what this says about our attitudes to ourselves, each other, and to our past. It is a gripping story that will fascinate and surprise with its conclusions.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 26mm | 322.05g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Corgi Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552154652
  • 9780552154659
  • 83,034

About Bryan Sykes

Bryan Sykes is Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, has had a remarkable scientific career in genetics. After undertaking medical research into the causes of inherited bone disease, he set out to discover if DNA, the genetic material, could possibly survive in ancient bones. It did and he was the first to report on the recovery of ancient DNA from archaeological bone in the journal "Nature" in 1989. Since then Professor Sykes has been called in as the leading international authority to examine several high profile cases, such as the Ice Man, Cheddar Man and the many individuals claiming to be surviving members of the Russian Royal Family. He is the author of The Seven Daughters of Eve and Adam's Curse.show more

Review quote

"The science is explained with an infectious zest. His book is so revealing that the new... as well as the old should read it" -- Boyd Tonkin Independent "Syke's scientific presentation is chatty and readable" The Sunday Times "Professor Sykes has an admirably free and easy style for an academic" Daily Mail "A fascinating overview of genealogical patterns and tribal heritage... [with] a stong narrative drive, pushed on by Sykes's energetic search for answers" Telegraph Review "Fascinating reading. This book has all the tension of a good detective story but is actually science at its most accessible" Sunday Expressshow more

Review Text

"Syke's scientific presentation is chatty and readable"show more

Back cover copy

When the first Roman soldiers invaded Britain in 54 BC, the Isles were inhabited by Celtic tribes. Five hundred years later, the Romans were succeeded by the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings and then the Normans. History has long taught us that the Celts were wiped out by the more sophisticated aggressors, but Bryan Sykes, the world's first genetic archaeologist, found that the evidence told rather a different story. In a major research programme, he and his team at Oxford University tested the DNA of over 10,000 volunteers from across Britain and Ireland in order to pin down the genetic make-up of 21st century Britain. What do our genes tell us about our tribal past? Did the invaders keep mostly to themselves or are the modern people of the Isles a delicious genetic cocktail? And most importantly, where do you fit in? A gripping detective story backed up by fascinating science, Blood of the Isles casts new light on our ancestry and reveals what our genes can tell us about our attitudes to ourselves, each other, and to our past. 'Sykes' scientific presentation is chatty and readable' Sunday Times 'Professor Sykes has an admirably free and easy style for an academic' Daily Mailshow more