The Basques are a mythical people, almost an imagined people. Living in seven provinces in a small corner of Spain and France in a land that is marked on no maps except their own, straddling the rugged Pyrenees Mountains, the Basques are a puzzling contradiction - they are Europe's oldest nation without every having been a country.
This extraordinary book tells the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people. Signs of their civilization existed well before the arrival of the Romans in 218 BC and though theories abound, no one has ever been able to determine their origins. Their ancient tongue, Euskera, is equally mysterious; it is the oldest living European language, and is related to no other language on Earth. Their influence has been felt in every realm, from religion to sports and commerce, and while preserving their indigenous legal code, cuisine, literature - even their own hat and shoe - their unique concept of nationhood has never been more relevant.
This is a spirited and loving portrait of the Basques and opens an illuminating window on world history, language and culture.