The islands of Britain are small, and for many centuries were sparsely populated. Yet with the help of 12 gorgeous gifts, the islanders produced thousands of indispensable inventions, developed wildly popular sports, designed romantic houses andMoreThe islands of Britain are small, and for many centuries were sparsely populated. Yet with the help of 12 gorgeous gifts, the islanders produced thousands of indispensable inventions, developed wildly popular sports, designed romantic houses and gardens, created literary masterpieces, lived with style and humour, tackled dangerous missions with daring and ingenuity, and fought with indomitable courage to protect the free world.
This book explains what the gifts are, and why they work.It’s salutary to recall we came close to never inheriting any gifts at all. The men and women from Britain and colonial America who entrusted the gifts to us had to defy the powerful, the indifferent, and the cruel. This book reveals the personal qualities they possessed and how they deepened and enlarged them.
They were not saints.We sometimes wonder if we would have liked them. Would they have seemed strangely fierce or would they have charmed us with their intelligence and tenderness?They were wildly different individuals, but unique as they were, and separated, some of them, by a thousand years, one thing united them: They believed that the gifts belong to each of us.With the gifts, the people of Britain invented soccer, rugby, basketball, golf, cricket, fly-fishing, tennis, and table tennis, and created the leisure to enjoy them.
They produced affordable food and clothing, electric lights, warm homes, and clean water. They built research hospitals and universities, jet planes, bicycles, and trains, miles of macadam, sports cars, the World Wide Web, and stereophonic sound. They built the groves of pale stone that are island cathedrals and festive domestic architecture. From a visionary consortium of designers and private investors came the panoramic views of the London Eye.Strengthened by the gifts the islanders gave us starry melodies, church hymns, the Beatles, and every British number you’ve ever hummed or sung, along with the witty and passionate works of Shakespeare, Robert Burns, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, William Wordsworth, Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde, George Orwell, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Agatha Christie, and JK Rowling.
They bred many of our favourite dogs and farm animals. They discovered genetics, antibiotics, and antiseptic surgery, epidemiology, endocrinology, chemistry, and neuroscience.They led the quest for the mathematical truths behind the structure of the universe, and mapped the seas and continents. Because they had helped to create and defend the gifts, they created an island home where people from all over the world wanted to live.Adding to the gifts, the people of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand planted life-enhancing wealth, lifted children out of poverty, and enjoyed the riches of happiness and generosity.This book describes 1,000 years of Britains history and revolutionary American history.
It directly addresses the inspiration of Christianity and the cultures which influenced the creation of the gifts. There are vistas from the past, landmarks of fascinating significance, and glimpses into the future.The gifts form a life-giving circle. With the loss of even one gift, the circle is broken.‘And some things that should not have been forgotten. . .were lost.’Today the gifts are being disparaged and attacked.
Because the gifts depend on men and women to hold and use them, and because men and women are imperfect, the gifts are deemed imperfect, and denounced. From accusation to violation is but a short step and the next step, equally short, is to forget the gifts ever existed.We love the gifts. That is why we have written about them, to remember them.