Reading in the 21st century is proud to call itself the biggest town in England, and is considered to be among the best places in Britain to provide a `good work-life balance.' Yet in the fifth century it was a barely visible settlement.
So how was Reading transformed from these humble beginnings into the largest and wealthiest town in Berkshire?
In this readable and beautifully produced book, leading local historian Joan Dils has traced the history of Reading, the unique and strategic position of which has over the last 1000 years attracted the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans, as well as a host of influential individuals.
The town's fortunes were transformed in 1121, when King Henry I founded an abbey that was to become one of the richest in England.
Over subsequent centuries the borough grew and prospered, its industries benefitting, then as today, from its location, and from constant influxes of talented and innovative people.
During the twentieth century, Reading slowly moved away from biscuits, brick-making, brewing and seeds to become a centre of the knowledge economy, a vibrant university town, and major transport hub.
The story of Reading is a long and fascinating one, and this superb book is a must for anyone with an interest in the history of the town.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 352 pages, over 200, mostly colour
- Publisher: Carnegie Publishing Ltd
- Publication Date: 23/10/2019
- Category: British & Irish history
- ISBN: 9781859362341