This video should be viewed by all members of the British Australian Community.
The History of the English Speaking Peoples is a learned and respectful appreciation of the origins, history and achievements of a remarkable people. Some of their ancestry began in the prehistory of the British Isles. They were made part of the Roman Empire, were transformed through forceful colonisation by Germanic tribes (who brought proto-English and gave it its name), and went on to build the largest empire in the history of the world. Modesty forbids itemisation of all Anglo contributions. It would be rude to even mention England’s participation in the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the single-handed invention of the first Industrial Revolution, common law, parliamentary democracy, market economics, the global trading system, Newton, Darwin, America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and so on.
By recounting many of these achievements, The History of the English Speaking Peoples might be thought rude. But it manages to drop names elegantly and matter-of-factly, perhaps because it has a great many in reserve.
The video was produced by the Victorian branch of the English Speaking Union, being released on 27th November. It is a major achievement. The BAC can bask a little in reflected glory because the script was written by our very own Alan James (1952-2022). Another BAC member, Margaret Birtley, speaks the opening lines of the epic poem Beowulf in the original Old English.
Anyone who wants to understand the culture and history of the Anglo diaspora in the modern world, could do worse than begin with this video. Much is packed into its 31 minutes. It is recommended for teachers in search of resources for teaching history or English. Why not entertain while imparting facts?
The video can be viewed on Youtube (see above) or on the ESU website.
One can only hope that more ESU productions will follow.