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

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

by Simon Jenkins

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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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610391436
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 11/22/2011
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 286,691
File size: 18 MB
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About the Author

Sir Simon David Jenkins is a British author and newspaper columnist and editor. He served as editor of the Evening Standard from 1976 to 1978 and of the Times from 1990 to 1992. He currently writes columns for both the Guardian and Evening Standard. He is the author of many books, among them A Short History of England (PublicAffairs). He lives in London.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Saxon Dawn 410-600 11

The Birth of England 600-800 18

The Danes 800-1066 24

William the Conqueror 1066-1087 32

The Conqueror's Children 1087-1154 39

Henry and Becket 1154-1189 45

Magna Carta 1189-1216 51

Henry III and Simon de Montfort 1216-1272 57

Hammering the Celts 1272-1330 63

The Hundred Years War 1330-1377 71

The Peasants Revolt to the Loss of France 1377-1453 79

The Wars of the Roses 1453-1483 89

Bosworth and Henry Tudor 1483-1509 96

Henry VIII 1509-1547 103

Reformation, Counter Reformation 1547-1558 115

Good Queen Bess 1558-1603 121

Early Stuarts 1603-1642 132

Civil War 1642-1660 141

Restoration 1660-1688 151

Glorious Revolution 1688-1714 160

Walpole and Pitt the Elder 1714-1774 169

From Boston to Waterloo 1774-1815 180

The Road to Reform 1815-1832 190

Victorian Dawn 1832-1868 197

Gladstone and Disraeli 1868-1901 205

The Edwardians 1901-1914 216

The First World War 1914-1918 223

The Locust Years 1918-1939 230

The Second World War 1939-1945 243

The Welfare State 1945-1979 252

Thatcherism 1979-1990 266

Thatcher's Children 199O-2011 276

Epilogue 288

One Hundred Key Dates 296

Kings and Queens of England From 1066 300

Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom 302

Author's Note 305

List of Illustrations 306

Index 308

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Irish Times, October 13, 2011
“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, August 27, 2011“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, September 26, 2011“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, October 26, 2011
“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) September 15, 2011
“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, August 24, 2011
“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.”


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