Despite a thousand years of glorious history, many people know surprisingly little of the facts and fables, people and places and events and emblems that have shaped England and its heritage. Where did John Bull come from? What is the Long Man of Wilmington? Who abolished Christmas? When did roast beef become a national dish? From the White Cliffs of Dover to MG Rover, from Newcastle Brown Ale to Royal Mail, and from John Milton to blue stilton, Nicholas Hobbes explains and celebrates the many facets of Englishness for today's readers. The result is as entertaining as it is essential.