When I was at school I didn't just hate history, I actively resented having to learn it.
Since then a growing awareness of my own imperfection, not to say the fragility of human life, has tempered the arrogance of youth! Now I can't get enough of it.
This compact encyclopedia of British history (from Roman times onwards) manages to be both concise and informative. A good number of the references are biographical, and many others cover those half-familiar terms which we only half understand.
Triennial Act; Dissenting; National Debt; Labour Representation Committee; Temperance; Evangelical; Parliamentary Privilege; Co-operative Movement; Singapore; Suez Canal.
Some may say that you can find all this on the internet anyway nowadays. That's partly true - but I doubt you can find it in such a pithy and yet such a scholarly fashion.
All cross-referenced entries are marked in small capitals, making this in addition a fascinating browsing book in which you can get lost for hours - and emerge more than a little wiser.
Finally, it's good to have a book which gives appropriate place, in an unbiased way, to the aspects of Christianity which (like it or not) have left such an imprint in the development of British society.