It was tempting to think, at times like this, that some bizarre hysteria had gripped the British people’ Beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Middle England follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change.

There are newlyweds Ian and Sophie, who disagree about the future of the country and, possibly, the future of their … More

Not so long ago, our roads, buildings, gravestones and monuments were built from local rock, our cities were powered by coal from Welsh mines, and our lamps were lit with paraffin from Scottish shale. At the height of the empire, British stone travelled across the world to India and China, Sri Lanka and Argentina, Singapore and South Africa.

There were thousands of mines, quarries, slag heaps and brick pits across the British Isles. We live among the remnants … More