Skip to main content

tv   Meet the Author  BBC News  December 10, 2017 10:45pm-11:01pm GMT

10:45 pm
'all ' all intents dress up wardrobe. for all intents and purposes, for me, this has shed light on chapters of history i did not know enough about, the suez crisis, the macmillan government, thatis crisis, the macmillan government, that is promised in this series, tonyis that is promised in this series, tony is cross with the jfk arrival, but... there is a more fundamental point, i understand artistic license, implying that the duke of edinburgh's father blamed him for the death of his sister in a plane crash is not an inaccuracy or playing with history or received wisdom, that is just a playing with history or received wisdom, that isjust a lie playing with history or received wisdom, that is just a lie and that is wrong and someone of the... it is not true and any amount of artistic license does not change the fact that this is notjust on true but deeply hurtful to the duke of edinburgh. who will not watch this and when asked, don't be ridiculous will be the answer! he is immune to sensory will be the answer! he is immune to sensory branding! it is a version of history that is demonstrably not true. we will leave it there for the
10:46 pm
moment. that's it for the papers this hour. thank you, tony and caroline. you'll both be back at 11.30pm for another look at the stories making the news tomorrow. coming up next, it's meet the author. writer and historian norman davies talks about his new book beneath another sky: a globaljourney into history. he circumnavigates the globe to explore in some of the remotest places — stories of settlement and migration, driven as he puts it by the primeval urge to, "get up and go". welcome. to think that we all have an urge to get up and go, it's quite
10:47 pm
another thing to do it. you are no young man. you set off and you circumnavigated the globe to all kinds of places that you must never have imagined that you would get to. what drove you on? the primeval urge. at a certain age, i received an invitation to australia but i don't like long flights so i decided to go by easy stages and take my time. and then i realised why go back the same way, just keep going, it took several months but it was a tremendous idea at my age! and the story you have followed, really, is the story of human movement, of migration, which of course is a very contemporary problem, obsession, but it is one that you see as fundamental and to explaining, how the world has come
10:48 pm
to be the way that it is? absolutely. human beings have been migrating, they've been on the move ever since they emerged whatever it was, 2 million years ago. moving from place to place, eventually from continent to continent and their various movements, collisions, interactions, conquests, cohabitations have created the world as we know it, without that, human history would be completely different. your focus has tended to be european in the past. you have written a lot about the slavic portion of europe and also written on the islands, and these islands which we sit. how did your perspective change when you began to visit some of these, what europeans would
10:49 pm
call, remote outposts? well, my choices were to go to places i had never been before and didn't know much about. the idea was more about learning and extending what i already knew. it was a voyage of discovery? exactly. sometimes i went to places whose history coincided, you go to baku, it used to be a part of the russian empire but many of the places were completely foreign to me, so all the more interesting for that. it's a fascinating catalogue. all of the little known places of the world, what was the first point at which you felt on this journey, you were really on to something here, you didn't know the story of this place and it's telling you something you had never thought of before? i had that feeling
10:50 pm
very often indeed. of course i could communicate better in some places than others. i went to mauritius, an outpost if ever there was one but i found a french creole speaker, which was interesting — that i could speak to people, learn and read books and so on but less so when you go to malaysia. you were inevitably the outsider? yes, i was everywhere, but i did nonetheless still get under the skin, often. i went to texas and wrote an essay about the very first american settlers in texas and lo and behold, i was able to spend a day with the descendent of one of the original 300, the first group of american settlers in texas. so i was an outsider but still i tried to communicate with people as much as possible.
10:51 pm
i spent a0 years writing about a tiny corner of the world. now you've got to see, to get a taste of the rest of it, and the rest is, of course, enormous. so you can't become an expert on these places but you get a feel of how things developed, where peoples came from, what are the relations between the different continents that i went to. you have split your life for a long time between this country and poland. coming back to europe, having undertaken this journey and having processed the thoughts that make up this book, has your view of europe changed? inevitably, europe now for me is a much smaller place. i used to think it was almost all the world. now i see that europe is a small peninsula of a very much bigger continent.
10:52 pm
of course, no—one will ever get to understand all of the complications but at least while you can still think reasonably clearly, you need to get a sense of the size of the globe and the complexities of human history and so on. when you are talking about migration as such an important component of human history, it puts into perspective the panic and the political difficulty that we've got across europe at the moment, because of migration, there's a consequence of water shortages in africa and war in the middle east. it does tend to say look, there is nothing new under the sun? absolutely. you begin to see yourself looking at europeans today like you are watching the romans coming over the rhine in the 4th, 5th century. movements are erratic, most
10:53 pm
of historical change is not smooth. it happens in leaps and bounds with intervals between. but we are living through a phase where humanity is on the march. our little continent is the target destination for many of them at the moment. you've been writing history for half a century now, more or less, this is an extraordinary work to have come up with in the sense that the sheer volume of work that is involved in putting this together in unknown places, you know, dealing with cultures of which you yourself say you knew very little, wanting to get it right, bringing an academic focus to, what a thing to take on? well, i've done that before. i don't know whether
10:54 pm
i will do it again. it's just what you do? of course, and it is a learning exercise, preventing ourselves going stale by writing about the same things all the time, which is what some historians do. you end the introduction by quoting tennyson. uylsses, seeking a new world. that is what you are doing here? i realise i was in the category of ageing ulysses who wanted to set sail one more time. yes, that was... whether i will ever have another voyage, i will never know. but you're glad you did? 0h, absolutely. i'm still amazed that i was able to do it and got to the last page. norman davies, author of beneath another sky, thank you very much. thank you very much. it has been a weekend of wintry
10:55 pm
weather which has caused significant disruption with snow, ice and strong winds. sennybridge in mid—wales saw 30 centimetres with disruption to travel and power networks. the main problem through tonight is ice, sleet and snow showers easing towards southern england and wales but many areas will see slippery conditions developing into the early hours of monday morning. the overnight temperatures in the towns and cities, a few degrees below freezing but in the countryside is —10 or even —12 degrees, especially with snow cover and clear skies. if heading to work or school on monday morning during rush hour, watch out for potentially icy conditions around. attention turns on monday to an area of low pressure causing disruption across portugal, spain and france, very heavy snowfall towards the alps and on the northern edge of that we'll see heavy bursts
10:56 pm
of rain developing across south—eastern parts of england and east anglia with the wind is picking up here. there could be sleet and snow mixed in with that rain also. moving away from the south—east, a quieter picture, watch out for those icy conditions, a widespread sharp frost with less snow across england and some sunshine here and for scotland and northern ireland, continued wintry showers feeding in on that cold northerly wind. during the day we keep the rain, sleet and snow mix in the south—east with strong winds, slowly easing away later on in the afternoon. away from the south—east of england, wintry sunshine, temperatures only a few degrees above freezing and wintry showers continuing to blow in on the northerly wind across northern scotland and northern ireland and fringes of wales. another very cold night monday night into the early hours of tuesday morning so temperatures around —2, perhaps —5 in towns and cities and in the countryside, colder, those lows around
10:57 pm
—12 to start the day on tuesday. a very widespread frost and icy conditions, could be freezing fog patches lingering and once they clear there is lots of sunshine, turning milder from the west later and temperatures around i — 8 degrees. goodbye. this is bbc news. the headlines at 11:00: it's been a day of travel chaos, as heavy snow falls cause disruption across much of the uk. hundreds of flights are cancelled or delayed for several hours,
10:58 pm
including at heathrow and birmingham. i left work early after a night shift to get here ‘cause of the snow to find my flights been cancelled. they should have told us before we left home, when they saw the weather. the foreign secretary says his visit to iran has been worthwhile as he tries to get the release of jailed british—iranian woman, nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe. the disgraced publicist max clifford has died, after suffering a heart attack in prison. the brexit secretary warns the uk could still refuse
10:59 pm
11:00 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on