N. A. Vavilov aspects of british history

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N. A. Vavilov

Н. А. Вавилов


Учебное пособие на английском языке


Институт международного права и экономики имени А. С. Грибоедова



кафедрой лингвистики

и переводоведения

Вавилов Н.А.

Краткая история Великобритании: Учебное пособие на английском языке. – 2-е изд., пересмотр. и испр. – М.: ИМПЭ им. А.С. Гри­боедова, 2008. – 88 с.
Пособие содержит краткий очерк важнейших событий в истории Великобритании – от первых документально засвидетельствованных вторжений на остров (кельтов, римлян и англосаксов) до создания и распада Британской колониальной империи.

Основными целями системы упражнений являются усвоение фактического материала, закрепление словаря и развитие навыков ведения беседы по тематике пособия. Пособие предназначено для студентов гуманитарных специальностей.

Подготовлено на факультете лингвистики.
The book contains an overview of the most important events in British history – from the first documented invasions of the island to the formation and fall of the British colonial empire.

A series of exercises will help to remember the subject matter, practise the vocabulary and contribute to skills work. The book is intended for the Humanities students.

Вавилов Н.А., 2008




UNIT 1 8

The Island 8

UNIT 2 17

The Celts (8th c. BC – 5th c. AD) 17

UNIT 3 25

The Roman Period (43 – 410 AD) 25

UNIT 4 37

The Anglo-Saxon Period (450–1066) 37

UNIT 5 45

The Viking Invasions (9th–11th cc.) 45

unit 6 51

The Norman Conquest (1066) 51

UNIT 7 63

The Story of English 63

UNIT 8 69

Tudor England (1485–1603) 69

UNIT 9 78

The Mother of Parliaments (13th–17th cc.) 78

UNIT 10 90

The British Empire (17th–20th cc.) 90

Appendix 1 102

Appendix 2 104

Appendix 3 106


Настоящее пособие содержит краткий очерк истории Великобритании от первых документально засвидетельствованных событий, имевших место на острове, до создания и распада Британской колониальной империи. В нем освещены пять известных завоеваний острова, создание сильного централизованного государства и превращение абсолютной монархии в конституционную, возникновение английского языка, рождение парламента, создание Англиканской церкви.

Уроки пособия состоят из основного текста и примечаний к нему (содержащих дополнительные исторические сведения, биографические данные и т. п.), словаря с лексико-грамматическими комментариями и серии упражнений.

Основные цели системы упражнений – помочь активному усвоению фактического материала и тематической лексики и научить студентов вести беседу по тематике пособия, высказываясь четко и аргументированно. Часть упражнений посвящена отработке отдельных лексико-грамматических явлений, представляющих определенную трудность для некоторых учащихся.

Пособие будет полезным для учащихся языковых и неязыковых вузов и школ, а также для всех изучающих английский язык и желающих пополнить свои знания о стране, являющейся родиной английского языка, ставшего ведущим мировым языком, и парламентаризма, который переняли большинство стран мира.


Aspects of British History presents a brief outline of the most significant milestones in the long and eventful history of Great Britain, such as the five successful invasions of the island, the birth of Parliament and transformation of an absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy, the origin of the English language, the rise and fall of the British Empire.

The units contain an informative reading text on an important issue, preceded by preparatory discussion questions and followed by notes offering some additional information, and a vocabulary with relevant language notes. The main reading text is accompanied by comprehension, vocabulary and grammar exercises and discussion activities. Some of the units include reading passages.

The book is intended for university and school students as well as other English learners wishing to acquire more knowledge about the country whose tongue became the world’s leading language, and which is considered as the Mother of Parliaments.


The Island

Pre-reading questions

What is the name of the island group Britain belongs to?

Where is it situated?

What seas surround it?

What kind of climate do you think Britain has?

What is its surface like?

What countries are situated on the islands?

Which country are we going to study? Why?


Land and climate affect life in every country. Britain is no exception.

Britain is the largest island of the British Isles1. It is just under 1,000 km long and just under 500 km across in its widest part. Britain is separated from the mainland of Europe by the North Sea on the east and the English Channel on the south – by only about 35 km of water at its closest point (the Strait of Dover2). Most of the coastline is so broken by bays and inlets that no point on the island is more than 120 km from the sea.

Climate and Surface

Britain has a mild climate which is influenced by the Gulf Stream, an ocean current which flows past the British Isles and brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico. Steady south-west winds blow across the current and bring warmth in winter. In summer, the ocean waters are cooler than the land. Winds over the waters come to Britain as refreshing breezes. The sea winds also bring plentiful rains.

Britain is not as cold as most places so far north. Summers are mild, with daytime highs about 220C in the south, about 180C in Scotland. Winters are cool – night-time temperatures drop nearly to freezing, but rarely much below, except in the colder Scottish highland areas.

Within Britain there are differences of climate and rainfall between north and south, east and west. The north is on average 50C cooler than the south. The heaviest rains fall in the highland areas of the west and north. The surface is varied too. The north and west are mountainous or hilly. Much of the south and east is flat or low-lying. That means that the south and east on the whole have better agricultural conditions, and it is possible to harvest crops much earlier than in the north. So it is not surprising that south-east Britain has always been the most populated part of the island. For this reason it has always had the most political power.

Protected by the Sea

Britain is an island, and the sea has helped shape the character and history of the British people. More than once it has helped protect the island from invasion, and it has given the people a feeling of security. Since 1066, no enemy has crossed the Channel and invaded the country.

The Age of the Island

Britain has not always been an island. It became one only after the end of the last ice age, by about 5000 BC. The temperature rose and the ice sheet melted, flooding the lower-lying land that is now under the North Sea and the English Channel. The improving climate changed the environment. Vast forests covered most of the lowlands and highlands, which were rich in various animals. Rivers teemed with fish. The island became a very comfortable place to live in.


The most ancient name for Britain was Albion which was first used by a Greek author in the 6th century BC. Though Celtic in origin, it was supposed by the Romans to come from Lat. albus (white), with reference to the chalk cliffs at Dover. White cliffs are the first and last sight of land for visitors who come to Britain by sea.


1. The British Isles is a geographical term for the islands bounded by the English Channel, the Strait of Dover, the North Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. The islands in the group are Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, the Isles of Scilly, the Hebrides, the Orkney Islands, the Shetland Islands, and about 5,500 small islands and islets.

Britain is also the largest island in Europe and the eighth largest in the world. It covers 218,980 sq. km. The second largest in the British Isles is the island of Ireland (area 83,694 sq. km.).

2. In 1875 Matthew Webb was the first to swim across the Channel. And in 1907 Louis Blériot made the first air crossing in a plane. There are memorials to both at Dover. A tunnel under the English Channel (the Channel Tunnel) linking France and England was opened in 1994.


1. affect (v)

effect (n)

syn. influence (n/v)

воздействовать, влиять

воздействие, влияние; результат, эффект

влияние; влиять

2. exception

Every rule has its exceptions.

with rare exceptions

Present company (is) excepted.


Нет правил без исключений.

за редким исключением

О присутствующих не говорят.

3. The British Isles

isle [aIl]

island ['aIlənd]

islet ['aIlIt]

Британские острова

поэт. остров (тж. в названиях островов, принадлежащих Англии; см. Notes)

остров (используется также в названиях островов, не являющихся частью Англии: Manhattan Island, the Falkland Islands)


4. the North Sea

Северное море

NB. Географические названия, обозначающие одно целое, самостоятельную единицу, обычно включают в свой состав North, South и т.д.: North America, West Virginia, East Anglia, South Africa, the North/South Pole. Так же называются части стран, разделенных по политическим причинам: West Germany, South Korea. Название части страны, континента и др. содержит northern, western и т. д.: Northern Ireland, eastern Europe, northern South America.

5. the Strait of Dover

пролив Па-де-Кале

Dover ['dəVvə], a ferry port on the coast of the English Channel. Its chalk cliffs are world-famous. It is mainland Britain’s nearest point to the сontinent, being only 35 km. from Calais ['kæleI], a ferry port in France. Дувр. Кале.

6. mainland

1. материк; 2. большой остров (среди группы небольших)

7. coastline

береговая линия

8. broken by bays and inlets

изрезанный заливами и бухтами

9. the Gulf Stream


теплое течение Гольфстрим

поток, река, ручей; струя

10. current

поток, течение

11. the Gulf of Mexico

Мексиканский залив

12. steady winds

постоянные ветры

13. refreshing breeze

освежающий ветерок / бриз

14. plentiful rains


cp. snowfall

обильные дожди (осадки)

  1. количество осадков;

  2. ливень, снегопад

15. a daytime high

максимальная дневная температура

16. highland

highland area

syn. mountainous area

плоскогорье, нагорье

горная местность

17. within (prep)

1. (~ the law) в рамках, в пределах;

2. (~ the building) в, внутри;

3. (~ a year) в течение, не более

18. difference

разница, различие

19. average (n)

The average of 3, 8 and 10 is 7.

on (the) average

above / below the average

среднее число, средняя величина

в среднем

выше / ниже среднего

20. 50C (five degrees Celsius / Centigrade)

Water freezes at 320 Fahrenheit (320F)

or zero degrees Celsius (00C).

пять градусов по Цельсию / по 100-градусной шкале

21. surface ['sE:fIs]


22. varied

vary ['veəri] (v)


меняться, изменяться

23. flat (ground, land)

плоский, нерельефный, слабо пересеченный

24. low-lying

lower-lying land



более низкие земли

низкая местность

25. on the whole

в целом

26. harvest a crop


a record crop of wheat

Wheat is a widely grown crop in Britain.

собирать / убирать урожай

1. урожай

рекордный урожай пшеницы

2. с.-х. культура

27. it is not surprising


28. much / more / the most power

большая/'большая/наибольшая власть

29. shape (n)

What shape is the table, round or square?

The team is in very good shape.

shape (v)

форма; состояние


30. more than once

не раз, неоднократно

31. invade (v)






32. se'curity

безопасность; уверенность

33. ice age (the Ice Age)

ice sheet

ледниковый период

ледяной покров

34. most of present-day England

(NOTthe most part of)

He spends most of his time travelling.

большая часть нынешней Англии

Большую часть времени он проводит в путешествиях.

35. melt (v)

таять; растапливаться

36. flood (n)

the (Great) Flood

flood (v)


Всемирный потоп


37. environment

окружающая среда

38. vast

обширный; безбрежный

39. teem with

кишеть, изобиловать чем-л.

40. ancient ['eInSənt]


41. Albion ['ælbiən]

misty Albion

perfidious Albion

поэт. Альбион, Англия

туманный Альбион

коварный Альбион

42. origin
Celtic ['keltIk] in origin

1. источник, начало

2. происхождение

кельтский по происхождению

43. suppose (v)

полагать; предполагать

44. with reference to sth

имея в виду что-л., ссылаясь на что-л.

45. chalk cliffs (at Dover)

the White Cliffs of Dover

меловые скалы (около г. Дувра)

Белые скалы Дувра


1. Read the text. Look up new words in the vocabulary.

2. Read the following phrases aloud. Find the sentences with these phrases in the text. Translate them into Russian.

a) The largest island in the British Isles; separated from the European mainland; about 35 kilometres of water; at its closest point.

b) A mild climate; influenced by the Gulf Stream; to bring warmth in winter; a refreshing breeze in summer; plentiful rains; daytime highs; to drop to freezing; differences of climate and rainfall; 50C cooler; in the highland areas; mountainous or hilly; flat or low-lying; better agricultural conditions; it is not surprising; the most popular part; the most political power.

c) To shape the character and history; to protect the island from invasion; a feeling of security; to cross the Channel.

d) The end of the last ice age; the ice sheet melted; to flood the lower-lying lands; to change the environment.

e) The most ancient name; in the 6th century BC; Celtic in origin; with reference to the white cliffs; the first and last sight of land.

3. Comprehension check: Answer the following questions. Check your answers with the text.

1. Where is Britain situated?

2. What kind of climate does Britain have?

3. Why does it have such a climate?

4. Is it uniform throughout the island?

5. Which part has better agricultural conditions?

6. Which part of Britain has been the most populated?

7. What factor has shaped Britain's history and the character of the British people?

8. Has Britain always been an island?

9. Why is Britain (England) often called Albion?

4. Put a preposition in each gap. Underline the prepositions in your notebooks.

Britain is separated _____ the mainland ____ Europe ____ the English Channel. Britain’s climate is influenced ____ the Gulf Stream, which flows _____ the British Isles and brings warm water _____ the Gulf ____ Mexico. There are differences ___ climate ____ Britain. The south is ___ average 50C warmer _____ the north. ____ the whole, agricultural conditions ____ the south and east are better _____ ___ the north. _____ this reason, this part ____ the island has always been the most populated. Britain’s history has been affected ____ the sea. More _____ once, it has been saved _____ danger ____ the sea.

Britain became an island ____ the end ____ the last ice age, when the surrounding lower-lying lands were flooded ______ ____ the melting ___ the ice sheet. The word Albion is ____ Celtic origin. But the Romans supposed it was derived _____ Lat. albus, _____ reference ____ the White Cliffs ____ Dover. They are the first sight ____ land _____ visitors who come ____ Britain ____ sea.
5. Put the verbs in brackets in the correct tense and voice. Underline the verb forms in your notebooks.

Only about 35 kilometres of water (to separate) Britain from France. Quite a number of people (to swim) across the Strait of Dover. The climate of Britain (to affect) by the warm ocean current which (to call) the Gulf Stream. South-east Britain always (to be) the most populated part of the island because it (to have) better agricultural conditions. The sea (to protect) the island from danger for over nine centuries and (to give) the people a feeling of security.

You should not think that Britain always (to be) an island. It (to become) one after the last ice age (to end) and the ice cap (to melt). It (to happen) because the lower-lying lands (to flood), and the North Sea and the English Channel (to form).
6. Change the following sentences to passive. Underline the verb forms in your notebooks.

Land and climate affect life in every country. The sea surrounds Britain. Southwest winds bring warm air in winter. The sea winds also bring plentiful rains. They harvest crops in the south much earlier than in the north. The sea has shaped the character of the British people. More than once it has saved the island from danger. Since 1066, no enemy has invaded Britain.

The rising temperature improved the climate. The improving climate changed the environment. A Greek author first used the name Albion some 2,500 years ago. White cliffs are the first thing that visitors to Britain see when they cross the Channel.
7. Write questions to these answers.

1. It has a mild climate. 2. It is affected by the Gulf Stream. 3. No, there are differences of climate and rainfall. 4. The north and west are. 5. They are flat or low-lying. 6. The south and east. 7. Because it has better agricultural conditions. 8. They have been affected and shaped by the sea. 9. After the end of the last ice age. 10. Because the surrounding lower lands had been flooded.

8. Give the English equivalents to these phrases.

a) Самый большой остров среди Британских островов; почти 1,000 километров в длину; отделена от европейского континента.

b) Влиять на климат; нести теплые воды с юга; обильные дожди; различия в температуре и осадках; в среднем на 50C теплее; разнообразная поверхность; в целом; лучшие условия для земледелия; убирать урожай; неудивительно; по этой причине; наиболее населенный регион; наибольшее политическое влияние.

c) Формировать характер; неоднократно; защищать кого-либо от опасности; внушать чувство безопасности; вторгнуться в страну (на остров).

d) Последний ледниковый период; около 5,000 лет до новой эры; затопить низменность; улучшить климат; изменить окружающую среду.

e) Древнейшее название острова; греческий автор; кельтского происхождения; происходить от латинского слова albus; белые скалы Дувра.

9. True or false? Give an adequate response to each statement. Do not content yourselves with saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. (See Appendix 1 at the end of the book.)

1. Land and climate affect life in island countries.

2. Britain’s climate is influenced by the Gulf Stream.

3. It is so called because it flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

4. The climate and surface of Britain are not uniform.

5. The south-east of the island has always been the most populated because it is closer to the European mainland.

6. Britain has always been an island. It became one after the Great Flood.

7. The island was named Albion by the Romans.

10. Points for discussion. (Summarize the text according to the following suggestions).

1. The location of Britain.

2. Its climate and surface.

3. The effect of the sea, climate and surface upon the life on the island.

4. The age of the island and of its ancient name.
11. Translate into English.

Британские острова расположены около северо-западного побережья Европы между Атлантическим океаном на севере и западе и Северным морем на востоке. От материковой Европы они отделены Английским каналом (или Ла-Маншем). Британские острова состоят примерно из 5,500 островов, больших и малых. Самыми большими из них являются Великобритания и Ирландия. Соединенное королевство включает в себя Великобританию (где находятся Англия, Шотландия и Уэльс) и Северную Ирландию. Большую часть второго по величине острова занимает независимая Республика Ирландия.

Географически Великобритания подразделяется на две основные частинизменную (юг и восток Англии) и гористую (Шотландия, Уэльс и Озерный край). Озерный край стал широко известен благодаря Вильяму Вордсворту, который основал Озерную школу поэтов и долго жил и работал там. Климат Англии обычно характеризуют как прохладный, умеренный и влажный (humid). Погода меняется так часто, что англичане говорят: «У нас нет климата, а только погода». Она является любимой темой разговора в Англии. В другой шутке говорится: «У нас три вида погоды: Когда дождь идет утром. Когда дождь идет после полудня. Когда льет весь день».

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