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Fifty Things You Need To Know About British History Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Length: 416 pages

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Product Description

Review

‘If history is your subject, then look no further than Fifty Things you Need to Know about British History. If you want an overview of what went on here, in bite-size chunks, throughout the centuries, this is the book for you’ The Lady

‘It offers insight and knowledge upon which to build a better understanding of the country we live in today’ Today’s History

Best General History ‘Combining simplicity with significance and anecdote with fact, this book will have relevance for every modern British reader’ Family History Monthly

Review

‘If history is your subject, then look no further than Fifty Things you Need to Know about British History. If you want an overview of what went on here, in bite-size chunks, throughout the centuries, this is the book for you’ The Lady

‘It offers insight and knowledge upon which to build a better understanding of the country we live in today’ Today’s History

Best General History ‘Combining simplicity with significance and anecdote with fact, this book will have relevance for every modern British reader’ Family History Monthly


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 685 KB
  • Print Length: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (13 Nov. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI90ZY
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #184,367 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as I have an interest in history, yet as my studying days are behind me, I have little resource to learn new things. I wanted a book that would cover the key points, without having any waffle for pages and pages which would cause it to be boring. This book is exactly what I was hoping for. It works through various events in British History, dedicating a few pages to each. All the information covered in each section is relevant and to the point. I have yet to finish the book, but I'm having a great time doing so, and can feel the gap in my knowledge being filled. Highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book to fill gaps in my historical knowledge and the introduction mentions that the contents are for everyone who is interested in history but frightened of the fog! It lifts the fog completely, is beautifully written, concise and easy to follow putting history in a chronological perspective.
I am still enjoying dipping in and out of its excellent selection of events and thoroughly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On the whole I've found this book very informative, easy to read, of great breadth, and also exciting and fun. Rather compulsively readable. Overall it gets two thumbs up and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, but I have to point out that I think the organization of the book is just lousy. It is first organized by 5 thematic sections: Roots, Wars, Empire, Liberty, and Innovation in that order, within each of which 10 chapters (events) are organized chronologically. Presenting events out of chronological order is just plain confusing, and thematic organization is not important to me. The problem is that events grouped as important for the advances of personal "Freedom" are very often important for understand the causes and consequences of later events that have more to do with "Wars", but Williams chooses to recount the events in backwards order! I don't know -- I'm not an author of non-fiction books, so maybe this criticism is too harsh. Clearly, in any case, Williams has collected a very wide variety of events and written about all of them very well. I just think it lacks a certain cohesiveness on account of it's organization.

Pros: Brief, Broad, Well-Written, Exciting, Informative, Neutral
Cons: Poorly Organized
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Format: Paperback
This book was hugely entertaining and captivating even though the events are not very detailed the book allows you to learn enough detail to put the past in to perspective and to find out things about British History quite unknown to most people.
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By Duncurin VINE VOICE on 5 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
At school I used to hate history and it was only some years later that I developed an interest in British History, WW2 and as I have aged, more recent events! I think if our teacher had given out a book like this then my interest would have been sparked at a much earlier age. Because we have such a long and rich history as a nation it is easy to get lost in inaccuracy, unimportant incidents and the modern curse of "revisionist" accounts whose authors seek to rewrite key events. This book in its accurate, succinct and readable style will give flight to all these forces very quickly and I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone with an interest in history of any period and of course anyone wanting to call themselves a British citizen. My only regret is having to purchase another copy as mine has been pinched by my 85 year old mother-in-law !
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book along with Robert Lacey's book on Great Tales from English History. Of the two, I prefer Lacey's book, but there is still much to commend in Hugh Williams's approach in focussing on fifty key events in British history.

I do think if you get more out of this book if you do already have a reasonable grasp of the key events discussed and are able to tie together chronologically the events discussed. As much as I found the subject content interesting, a criticism I have of the book is that in places it feels disjointed. It is well-researched, but you often get the feeling that additional information was added without knowing quite where to squeeze it all in. For example, there is a sidebar on British food throughout the ages inserted at the end of the chapter on the Battle of Hastings - the connection between this and the chapter content is unclear. The chapter on the Battle of Plassey, starts off by describing how Clive of India stabbed himself to death with a penknife, but fails to explain what it was that might have driven him to commit suicide. It is only at the end of the chapter in a sidebar on 'Ten men of Empire', that we read how Clive was being investigated for corruption at the time of his death. These aren't serious failings, but the overall impression is that the book could have been review edited better. However, one can forgive such shortcomings because the book is still very readable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought for somebody who likes gathering snippets of information, as part of their Christmas present. He said it was very interesting and informative, adding to one's knowledge without being too serious or difficult to absorb, so I may just have to borrow it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been reading this for a few months now. By reading about one or two chapters each day you will take all the information in with ease thanks to the gripping, concise writing style. I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
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