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Royal Standard of England
Location of England within the United Kingdom.

England (About this sound /ˈɪŋɡlənd/ ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Its mainland is on the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. England shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; and adjoins the Irish Sea to the north-west, the Celtic Sea to the south-west and the North Sea to the east. The English Channel separates it from continental Europe. In addition to the mainland, England includes over 100 smaller islands, including the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. England's population is about 51 million, around 84% of the United Kingdom.

England has been settled by humans of various cultures for over 29,000 years but it takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled Great Britain during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in AD 927 and after the Age of Discovery has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world. England was where the English language, the Anglican Church and English law, which forms the basis of the common law legal systems of countries around the world, developed. The innovations that came from England have been widely adopted by other nations, such as its parliamentary system, which is the world's oldest. During the 18th century England underwent the Industrial Revolution and became the first country in the world to industrialise. Its Royal Society laid the foundations of modern experimental science.

Most of England is lowland but there are upland regions in the north (such as the Lake District, Pennines and Yorkshire Moors) and in the south and south west (such as Dartmoor, the Cotswolds, and the North and South Downs). London, a global city and England's capital, is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. The population of England is concentrated in London and the South East, as well as the conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East and Yorkshire, which developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century.

The Kingdom of England (which included Wales) was a sovereign state until 1 May 1707 when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year and resulted in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland that created the united Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1800 Great Britain was united with Ireland through another Act of Union 1800 to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State was established as a separate dominion but the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act in 1927 reincorporated into the kingdom six Irish counties to officially create the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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The canal at Bathampton, near Bath

The Kennet and Avon Canal is a canal in southern England. The name may refer to either the route of the original Kennet and Avon Canal Company, which linked the River Kennet at Newbury to the River Avon at Bath, or to the entire navigation between the River Thames at Reading and the Floating Harbour at Bristol, including the earlier improved river navigations of the River Kennet between Reading and Newbury and the River Avon between Bath and Bristol.

The River Kennet was made navigable to Newbury in 1723, and the River Avon to Bath in 1727. The canal between Newbury and Bath opened in 1810 and is 57 miles (92 km) long. The two river navigations and the canal total 87 miles (140 km) in length. In the later 19th century and early 20th century the canal fell into disuse following competition from the Great Western Railway, who owned the canal. In the latter half of the 20th century the canal was restored, largely by volunteers, and today is a popular heritage tourism destination, for boating, canoeing, fishing, walking and cycling. It is also important for wildlife conservation.

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Broadway tower

Photo credit: Newton2/YFB

Broadway Tower is a folly located near the village of Broadway, Worcestershire, England, at one of the highest points of the Cotswolds. Its base is 1,024 feet (312 m) above sea level, the tower itself standing 55 feet (17 m) tall. On a clear day, thirteen counties of England can be seen from its top.

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Richard Rothwell's portrait of Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

After Mary Godwin's mother died giving birth to her, she and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay, were raised by her father. When Mary was three, Godwin married his neighbour, Mary Jane Clairmont. Godwin provided his daughter with a rich, if informal, education, encouraging her to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin fell in love with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, they left for France and travelled through Europe; upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816 after the suicide of Percy Shelley's first wife, Harriet.

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The tower of St. Paul's Church, in Brighton

In the news

In the news
  • March 13: Mirror's exposé prompts call for inquiry into child abuse ring in Telford, England
  • February 3: Football: Giroud leaves Arsenal to sign eighteen-month deal with cross-town rivals Chelsea
  • February 2: Football: Arsenal signs Aubameyang from Dortmund
  • February 1: Football: Manchester United announces extending Juan Mata's contract
  • January 18: Irish rock band The Cranberries' lead singer Dolores O'Riordan dies at 46
  • January 17: British surfers catch more than waves: Scientists find antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • January 4: England: Multi-storey carpark in Liverpool gutted by fire, 1,300 vehicles destroyed
  • December 30: Football: Liverpool reaches agreement with Southampton FC to sign van Dijk

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Cities and major towns: BlackpoolBirminghamBristolChelmsfordLeedsLiverpoolLondonManchesterNewcastleNottinghamOxfordPortsmouthSheffieldSouthamptonStoke-on-Trent

Culture: The Football AssociationRugby Football UnionEngland and Wales Cricket BoardEnglish inventions and discoveries

Geography: GeologyClimateMountains and hillsIslandsRivers

Economy: Bank of EnglandLondon Stock ExchangeChancellor of the ExchequerMonetary Policy CommitteeHM Treasury

History: Timeline of English historyPrehistoric BritainRoman BritainAnglo-Saxon EnglandHouse of LancasterHouse of YorkHouse of TudorHouse of Stuart

Governance: Kingdom of EnglandPrime Minister of the United KingdomParliament of the United KingdomHome SecretaryLocal Government Boundary Commission for EnglandAdministrative divisions of EnglandEnglish law

Symbols: FlagsFlag of EnglandSt George's CrossTudor roseCoat of arms of England

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