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A Short History of England: The Glorious Story of a Rowdy Nation [NOOK Book]

Overview

The heroes and villains, triumphs and disasters of English history are instantly familiar?-from the Norman Conquest to Henry VIII, Queen Victoria to the two world wars. But to understand their full sig?nificance we need to know the whole story.

 

A Short History of England sheds new light on all the key individuals and events in English histo?ry by bringing them together in an enlightening account of the country?s birth, rise to global promi?nence, and then partial eclipse....

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A Short History of England: The Glorious Story of a Rowdy Nation

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Overview

The heroes and villains, triumphs and disasters of English history are instantly familiar—-from the Norman Conquest to Henry VIII, Queen Victoria to the two world wars. But to understand their full sig­nificance we need to know the whole story.

 

A Short History of England sheds new light on all the key individuals and events in English histo­ry by bringing them together in an enlightening account of the country’s birth, rise to global promi­nence, and then partial eclipse. Written with flair and authority by Guardian columnist and London Times former editor Simon Jenkins, this is the definitive narrative of how today’s England came to be. Concise but comprehensive, with more than a hundred color illustrations, this beautiful single-volume history will be the standard work for years to come.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A fresh treatment of an old subject by the British journalist and Chairman of the National Trust, Jenkins' (England's Thousand Best Houses) conclusion provides a standpoint from which to evaluate the whole work, where he writes: "England is losing the will to govern the non-English peoples beyond its borders, even those elsewhere in the British Isles." He sees an English parliament "in partial thrall" to its semi-autonomous Celtic fringe and suggests an English assembly as a counter, with a written code of rights and local democracy. This solution keeps with his historical account of what he calls the English nation, where martial centralization of power has alternated with parliamentary privilege through control of the purse strings. Jenkins shows how democracy evolved from the monarchy's need for tax revenues as leverage against the increase of parliamentary power, creating financial institutions like the City of London. His treatment of the modern era, and Margaret Thatcher's deplorable dismantling of the political institutions of "Little England," closes this insightful look at our British cousins. Agent: Inkwell. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

Irish Times
“Simon Jenkins has boldly written a unitary, continuous text, taking “England” as his subject. The boldness should not surprise us. He is a stellar public intellectual and the best newspaper columnist in the business: the wit, dazzle and scornful elan of his weekly Guardian pieces make them required reading…A Short History of England is intermittently enlivened by his passion for political analysis; the approach also reflects his architectural bent, as chairman of the National Trust and author of several invigorating surveys of houses and churches.”

The Spectator
“This is traditional, kings-and-things, great-men history with all its dates and famous quotations in place ... it's jolly good ... Jenkins has a newspaper columnist's aphoristic verve.”
 
New Statesman
“Full of good writing and lively anecdote... Simon Jenkins's Short History of England, published in association with the National Trust, is a handsome book whose narrative gains strength as it goes through the Middle Ages and finds itself in the modern period. His account of the 20th century is full of the good judgements one might hope for from such a sensible and readable commentator, and they alone are worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought. Jenkins is especially good at analysing what he sees as the central idea - the balance between royal power and popular consent.”
 
Kirkus Reviews
“The book is elevated by the author’s engaging writing style, and he does a remarkable job with English royal history from 1066 to 1714, demonstrating how the individual kings and queens fit together into one coherent story…A broad, accessible history for those readers not well versed in English history.”

City AM(UK)
“Dip into a chapter of an evening and let Jenkins sweep you through England's history, painting a vivid picture of this country's green and pleasant land.”

Prospect Magazine
“Immediately accessible… His book is an entertaining and useful one, and if his ideal reader is probably a bright young schoolboy, inspired by a visit to some crumbling castle and keen to find out more about his nation’s history, there is nothing wrong with that.”

Kirkus Reviews
In a slim volume, Jenkins (Thatcher and Sons, 2006, etc.) summarizes England's past. Beginning in 410 with the rise of the Saxons, the author divides the chapters into time frames, each focusing only on the important events of that period. This allows Jenkins to provide a comprehensive discussion of time periods and trends while still maintaining the brevity needed to keep the book under 400 pages. The author sprints through many periods of fascinating English history; Queen Elizabeth I's tempestuous reign receives only 15 pages. Jenkins doesn't fully illuminate the history, but he excels at creating an informative and concise narrative of England's past and present. The book is elevated by the author's engaging writing style, and he does a remarkable job with English royal history from 1066 to 1714, demonstrating how the individual kings and queens fit together into one coherent story. As the monarchs give way to prime ministers, the narrative loses some of its tautness, meandering through the last three centuries of English politics. Though it still provides a solid overview, it loses much of its narrative momentum. The author ends with a meditation on the reasons for England's remarkable success as a country and his thoughts on its future. Though obviously well researched, the book would have benefitted from Jenkins' picks for further reading on selected topics. A broad, accessible history for those readers not well versed in English history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610391436
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 11/22/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 423,659
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author


Simon Jenkins is the author of the international bestsellers England’s Thousand Best Churches and England’s Thousand Best Houses, the former editor of The Times and Evening Standard and a columnist for the Guardian. He is chairman of the National Trust.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 11, 2012

    Short history

    Good thumbnail sketch of England's rulers for a quick familiarization of its history. Beautifully illustrated.

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