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Posted November 11, 2003
Too Broad for English History...
Has this ever happened to you? You go to work or school, have a long day, and then, in the final few hours, it just seems like it took a minute? Well, this is the story of this book. This book, 'The Story of England', is written for those who either have no idea about what English history is, or for people that just want to re-learn what they learned in school, or even if they are traveling to England and want to learn about the history about the country they are going to. The book starts off well. It covers everything really, gives a very detailed history of Prehistoric England, from Avebury to Stonehenge, and also gives a some detailed info on the Roman occupation of Britain during the time of Julius Caesar. Hibbert gives us info on the Anglo-Saxon liberation of England, and also on how King Arthur and his Welsh army defeated the Scots on a number of occasions, if there was an Arthur, of course. All this is about 40 pages, so it's pretty concise. Then, the book covers the Norman and Danish occupations of Southern England until 1154,and how the hated Normans installed a feudal system and also about the corruptness of the French Normans, especially King John, who collects taxes from his English subjects. We get no information on the causes of the First Crusade. We then learn about how England's monarchy was developed, how Parliament gained power, and finally how the English sealed their fate as a world power by defeating the French at Crecy, under King Edward III. We then learn about the Tudors and the present Stuart dynasty, and how the Catholic Mary treated the Anglican Britons. After this, the book gets bad. We don't get any info on England's role in the Age of Exploration, and I think we have only one sentence on the American Revolution, when the American colonists defeated their English rulers in 1781. After this, we get no info. We do get a few sentences on India, a few on some other places in Malaya, but apart from that, we get none. The entire twentieth century, including World Wars I and II, the prospect of Nazi invasion in 1940, the German bombs that fell on London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Swansea, Dublin, Cork, and Belfast in 1940-1942, is not mentioned. The book does a quick overview, but it is done. The Thatcher presidency and the Falkand Wars gets a paragraph. So basically, one could call this a 'Premodern History of England' rather than a 'History of England'. In my opinion, this title is more of a history of a monarchy rather than a history of the country, but it is good for people who have no idea about England or for people who want to travel there.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.