The Discovery of Islands consists of a series of linked essays in British history, written by one of the world's leading historians of political thought and published over the past three decades. Its purpose is to present British history as that of several nations interacting with - and sometimes seceding from - an imperial state. The commentary presents this history as that of an archipelago, expanding across oceans to the Antipodes. Both New Zealand history and the author's New Zealand heritage inform this vision, presenting British history as oceanic and global, complementing (and occasionally criticising) the presentation of that history as European. Professor Pocock's interpretation of British history has been hugely influential in recent years, making The Discovery of Islands a resource of immense value for historians of Britain and the world.

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