Within its 225 square miles, the Isle of Man boasts an impressively diverse historic landscape spanning some 10,000 years of human activity. In this compact but wide-ranging book, our guide is Matthew Richardson, curator of social history at Manx National Heritage. Travelling chronologically, we begin when humans first arrived on the island, c.8000 BC, and range across topics from Viking ship burials and early Christian sites to the Gaiety Theatre – one of the best surviving examples of a Victorian music hall anywhere in the British Isles. From folklore to the Isle of Man’s unique motor-racing heritage, via the Beatles, modern paganism, and the Flashman series of novels, this is a colourful and enjoyably varied picture. The book also includes a walking tour and directions for three explorations by car, and is scattered throughout with black-and-white images. If you are planning a future trip to the Isle of Man, this publication has plenty of ideas to inspire your travels, and is well worth taking with you when you go.
The Isle of Man: Stone Age to Swinging Sixties, Matthew Richardson, Pen and Sword, £14.99, ISBN 978-1526720771
Review by CH.