Gavin Esler's Biography

Gavin Esler

Gavin Esler is an award winning television and radio broadcaster, novelist and journalist. He is the author of five novels and four non-fiction books, most recently How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations. It’s a forensic examination of the way in which resurgent English nationalism is pulling the United Kingdom apart. It follows Lessons from the Top, a study of how leaders tell stories to make other people follow them, based on personal encounters with a wide variety of leaders, from Bill Clinton and Angela Merkel to Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, and even cultural leaders such as Dolly Parton.

Reviewers have been full of praise for Esler’s fiction and story-telling abilities. The writer Bernard Cornwell said his novels are "made luminous with wisdom, sympathy and story telling." The Guardian commented that Esler's fiction displays "undoubted sympathy for the human condition and a burning anger, a genuine lyricism, a quick sensitivity and a real understanding of other people." The Financial Times said Esler's stories of people in power and the compromises they are forced to make, shows that he "understands the political beast better than anyone."

New Book - How Britain Ends

How Britain Ends - Book Cover

English Nationalism and the Rebirth of Four Nations forecasts the end of the United Kingdom as currently constructed. The UK, which first came into being in 1603, has reinvented itself every century or so ever since. Another reinvention is long overdue. Now, faced with competing nationalisms in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the under-rated phenomenon of English nationalism is pulling the country apart.

What does being “British” means any more when England voted to leave the European Union, propelling many Scots to wonder one more if they should leave that other union, the United Kingdom itself. Should Scotland "take back control” of is own affairs?

Northern Ireland was told by Mrs Thatcher that it is “as British as Finchley, and yet  Boris Johnson’s government cheerfully agreed to put a customs border in the sea between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. And with devolved parliaments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, what does the future hold for the people of England, especially those who also feel remote from the goings-on at the Westminster parliament?


“A very lively account of our national identities. It highlights the disruptive power of the rise of English nationalism which is going to be so important over the next decade.” Lord David Willetts, former Conservative minister

“A timely and superbly argued analysis of the mess we’re in.” Alastair Campbell

“Gavin Esler is the perfect guide to the contradictions and tensions threatening to prise the Union apart. How Britain Ends is essential reading for anyone interested in how the UK became so fractured - and how it might be put back together.” Peter Geoghegan, author Democracy for Sale


Available to pre-order now from Blackwell's and all good independent bookshops