Northerners: From the Ice Age to the Present Day

Brian Groom

the dinner hour, wigan by eyre crowe, 1874, manchester art gallery collection, history of northerners
This is a past event
Date and time
26 October 2023
6.30 pm
£1.00 on the door


How have northerners shaped the world we live in today?

Brian Groom, author of the bestselling Northerners: A History, From the Ice Age to the Present Day, will outline 180 million years of history showing how the north’s people have shaped Britain and the world in unexpected ways.

Manchester was at the heart of it, from the Roman era to becoming the nineteenth century’s ‘shock city’. Brian will show how the past echoes down the centuries and explore what northernness means today and the crucial role that Manchester and the north can play in Britain’s future.

Northern England, fashioned by waves of migration, invasions and battles, has had a profound impact on European culture and the global economy. It was not just the Industrial Revolution, viewed by economic historians as the key event in human history – and in which Manchester played a globally decisive role. At least six Roman emperors ruled for a period from the north. And the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was Europe’s leading cultural and intellectual centre.

Northern writers, activists, artists and comedians are celebrated the world over, from Wordsworth, the Brontes and Gaskell to LS Lowry, Emmeline Pankhurst and Peter Kay. St Oswald and Bede shaped the spiritual and cultural landscapes of Britain and Europe, and the world was revolutionised by the inventions of Richard Arkwright and the Stephensons. The north has exported some of sport’s biggest names and defined the sound of generations, from the Beatles to Britpop.

Join us at this Lit & Phil Local event to celebrate the history and future of the north, and northernness!


**This is a ‘Lit & Phil Local’ event. Priority booking is offered to local communities.**

the place at fallowfield

Image credit: 'The Dinner Hour, Wigan', by Eyre Crowe, 1874 - Manchester Art Gallery collection

brian groom

Brian Groom

Brian Groom is a journalist and author, originally from Stretford. He went to Manchester Grammar School and Balliol College, Oxford, before starting work as a sports editor in Goole, Yorkshire. Most of his career was spent at the Financial Times, where he did many of the top writing and editing jobs, including being political editor and an assistant editor, but he also spent ten years in Scotland, where he launched and later edited Scotland on Sunday, the Scotsman‘s Sunday paper. He retired from the Financial Times in 2014 and moved to Greenfield, Saddleworth, in Greater Manchester.

Brian’s book Northerners: A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day (2022) became a national bestseller. His latest book Made in Manchester: A Peoples History of the City that Shaped the Modern World was published in May 2024.

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our e-newsletter to receive exclusive content and all the latest Lit & Phil news

* indicates required