The Story of England
Date of publication: September 2010
The village of Kibworth in Leicestershire lies at the very centre of England. It has a church, some pubs, the Grand Union Canal, a First World War Memorial - and many centuries of recorded history. In the thirteenth century the village was bought by William de Merton, who later founded Merton College, Oxford, with the result that documents covering 750 years of village history are lodged at the college.
Building on this unique archive, and enlisting the help of the current inhabitants of Kibworth, with a village-wide archeological dig, with the first complete DNA profile of an English village and with use of local materials like family memorabilia, Michael Wood tells the extraordinary story of one English community over fifteen centuries, from the moment that the Roman Emperor Honorius sent his famous letter in 410 advising the English to look to their own defences to the village as it is today. The story of Kibworth is the story of England itself, a Who Do You Think You Are? for the entire nation. It is the subject of a six-part BBC tv series to be shown in autumn 2010.