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British History For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Seán Lang
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £15.99
Kindle Price: £11.39 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

This book is a riotous, irreverent account of the people and eventsthat have shaped Britain. Always getting those kings and queensconfused? Never sure what happened when? Then you need this book.Inside you'll find rip-roaring stories of power-mad kings,executions, invasions, high treason, global empire building, andforbidden love — not bad for a nation of stiff upper lips!
  • Revised and expanded to include the historical parliamentaryelections of 2010 and the British mission in Afghanistan
  • Accompanied by access to a timeline and 'Who's Who in BritishHistory' section on
  • This new edition contains an 8-page color insert so you can seewho, what and where the ensuing historical action takes place

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Product Description


“…packed with behind the scenes knowledge…” (Shields Gazette, December 2003)

"...The most user–friendly history book around…behind the jokey chapter headings there’s a serious amount of information…" (Daily Express, 20 February 2004)

“…written in a breezy jokey style, chopped up into bite–sized bits...” (Daily Telegraph, Weds 2nd Feb 2005)


“…packed with behind the scenes knowledge…” (Shields Gazette, December 2003)

"...The most user–friendly history book around…behind the jokey chapter headings there’s a serious amount of information…" (Daily Express, 20 February 2004)

“…written in a breezy jokey style, chopped up into bite–sized bits...” (Daily Telegraph, Weds 2nd Feb 2005)

Daily Express, 20 February 2004

"..The most user-friendly history book around..behind the jokey chapter headings there's a serious amount of information.."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3476 KB
  • Print Length: 440 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 3 edition (21 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004L62KE8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #159,143 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
If you know nothing about British History or can't remember if Henry II came before or after Edward I then this is a reasonably useful primer. It reads like a Sellars & Yateman with real facts and that may be intentional. Plus it passes the time even if the matey style begins to grate after a while.

What also grates are the easily spotted howlers from recent history. I don't want to appear pedantic but an author keen on debunking old myths (Alfred burning the cakes, Rob Roy etc.) seems to have no problem with perpetuating recent ones. The author appears to have pulled another reviewer up on this so here's a sample (and others might want to add their own!):

* The World Cup didn't win Harold Wilson the '66 election. Labour won that one four months before Hurst's ball did/didn't go in (no it wasn't offside - another error).

* Oswald Mosley's Blackshirt march through the East End wasn't opposed by Communists. In fact the Communist Party had told its members to ignore it as they had organised an anti Franco rally in Trafalgar Square on the same day. Also the Blackshirts DID wear political uniforms, It was as a result of Cable Street that the Public Order Act of 1936 banned them.

* Jim Callaghan never said "Crisis, What Crisis?". That was a Sun headline (and the title of an album by Supertramp)

* Arthur Scargill and The NUM were not financed by Gadaffi's Libya. The Daily Mirror and other papers found this out to their cost when Scargill successfully sued them.

So enjoy the book but don't use it if you're revising for a history exam!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Dummies success 13 April 2011
I have read six Dummies books to date and this is another fine example of the genre. It contains all of the important information, presented in a chatty, informal manner. It took a little while for me to get used to the author's style and at times I found there was almost too much information to comprehend, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am not sure how much of the informaiton I have retained but hopefully I will remember enough to assist me in future pub quizzes! The book has an excellent index and can easily be used as a reference book as well as a reading book. I am currently racing through the author's 'European History For Dummies' which is laugh-out-loud funny in places and I would highly recommend this too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So much in life is a result of what has happened in the past both in England and elsewhere in the world, One can watch news and documentaries and move on but a moment's thought every time allows questions to form in the mind which sometimes just have to be followed up, for which the 'Dummies' series is often the perfect stimulus to subsequent deeper enquiry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading about kings and queens mainly 20 Jan. 2013
By BevH
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have never done any history but have always been interested in how things got to be how they are. The book focuses on kings and queens and some political leaders, lots on how religious differences influenced the way the country changed. It does make an effort to give the Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh aspects too, but only so far really as they affect England. If you are looking for history of the other countries in the UK, I woudl get the Dummies book for them. It starts with how Britain was formed, and how the continents shaped up, and goes all the way through to about 2000. It was a shame it wasnt a more recent addition, which is the only reason it got four not five stars, but they can only do new editions so often. I am hooked on Dummies books as they are so easy to read in small sections.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars informative and amusing 30 Jan. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really like this book - gets in a bit of a date-line twist in dealing with the early Henrys' follows a theme forward then returns to (read to it see what I mean). No finished yet, but is written in a manner that is easy to dip in and out of or even as a quick refresher of vaguely remembred school history (only better taught!).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile Read 19 Aug. 2014
Apart from a fondness for iron bridges, the belief that cricket is exciting, and the mistaken view that the Chinese have a curse which goes 'may you live in interesting times' (there is no such phrase in Chinese), this is a cracking good book. It's well written and, well, just really damned good. Very interesting, as least to me, a Canadian. I got a bit tired (and confused) about all the kings and queens, and wished for a little more "common" history, but, well, people like reading about kings and queens, as the author notes. It was really interesting to see the, er, constancy of human behaviour throughout the centuries. You could call British history a few thousand years of conflict and struggle. I also appreciated the balance of talking about Ireland, Scotland, and Wales (Lang gives them their due) and all the bits about British imperialism. There's just so much information here. All the sidebars are interesting, and so is a section at the end dedicated to places in Britain you might want to visit, really important British people (you may have never heard of), documents which changed everything, etc. I'd like to read Lang's European History for Dummies, too. British History for Dummies provides a very good overview. Once you read it, you can pick out the bits you find engaging, and then delve into them. A great book. Thank you very much!

Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
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