'It has been said by the old magicians that Watling Street was created in a single night. Or revealed to us between sleeping and waking - a potentiality that is always there but which we have to learn to read. John Higgs does just that: a bright necklace of recoveries and collisions and remarkable witnesses. A tale-telling pilgrim to entertain and inform as we jolt along the way'
'On a long drive like this, your companion matters as much as the route, of course - and Higgs is an entertaining one, garrulous but disinclined to hector'
'A bravura piece of writing - Bill Bryson on acid'
'A fascinating, erudite and esoteric portrait of Britain . . . Cliche-free and engrossing, this is a wonderful book'
'Myths combine with staggeringly fascinating facts, while Higgs' take on our national imagination and the nature of history is refreshingly original . . . [A] mad, but brilliant, odyssey'
'One of those books where you constantly find yourself underlining pithy quotes, it's a compelling study of the origins of our national identity, at a time when it's becoming more complex than ever'
'A truly fascinating book . . . from one of the best writers on cultural history we have'
'A new vision of England . . . full of magic, mystery and bits of William Blake'
'Watling Street is unusual, original and strangely beautiful. It's full of wonderful stories about this remarkable road, expertly brought to life by Higgs. And even though it's a travel book, it has more to say about the current climate than most political books'
'In the same way that Watling Street slices through the UK, Higgs's trademark crystal clarity of thought slices through this country's nationalistic hysteria. We owe it to ourselves to join him on this vital and endlessly insightful journey'
'The range of reference in this book makes for an inspiring read, and anyone with an interest in British history or identity will find something to learn, and something to think about'
'It is an ambitious attempt to find a grassroots British identity that eschews the political, and one that ultimately succeeds'
'In these divisive times, when British identity is so much discussed, Watling Street is a rich and relevant work, making a compelling case that our truest heritage is simply the spirituality of the land and the vast, vibrant patchwork of our individual stories'
'In Watling Street, an exploration of modern Britain and what it means to be British today, Higgs offers a more nuanced understanding of the national psyche . . . a book for our times'
'It's erudite, funny, philosophical, often wildly esoteric and packed with factual asides . . . Above all Watling Street provokes a new and exciting discourse on national pride and identity. You can hear the singing of our ancestors in a chorus of shared heritage whose melody is steeped in the land'
'Juggling wit and wisdom, [Higgs] brings a lively twist to a thoroughly British story'
'Mischievous and iconoclastic . . . [Higgs's] is a systematising imagination, able to harness disparate elements and find the patterns that animate them; that he does so in a more socially inclusive manner than many enriches his theories enormously'
'[A] delightful and inventive contemplation of the way history has shaped Britain, and vice versa'
'Wry and thought-provoking. Higgs expresses a history that is not simply that of kings or victors, but of the British people who have shaped the Britain we know'
'One of the best books I've ever read . . . addictively illuminating in these turbulent times'
'A humorous and thoughtful guide'