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A Short History of England [Kindle Edition]

Simon Jenkins
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

Which battle was fought 'For England, Harry and St George'? Who demanded to be painted 'warts and all'? What - and when - was the Battle of the Bulge?

In A Short History of England, bestselling author Simon Jenkins answers all these questions - and many more - as he tells the tumultuous story of a fascinating nation. From the invaders of the dark ages to today's coalition, via the Tudors, the Stuarts and two world wars, Jenkins weaves together a gripping narrative with all the most important and interesting dates in his own inimitable style.

Until now there has been no short history of England covering all significant events, themes and individuals: this bestselling book, published in association with the National Trust, will be the standard work for years to come.

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Product Description


"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." "Pros

Book Description

The definitive concise account of our remarkable past

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 47049 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846684633
  • Publisher: Profile Books (8 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FQ1GQQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
99 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what I need 13 Sept. 2011
By Reader
Simon Jenkins captured my attention when he wrote the wonderful England's Thousand Best Churches. I read a review of this book and realised that I am familiar with parts of English History but how they all link together is slightly fuzzy! Simon Jenkins, with his distinctive style, takes you from the Saxton Dawn to the present day. There is an enormous amount of information to pack into a 400 page book, and there are times when I desperately wanted more detail, but overall it is hugely satisfying: A chronological yet hugely interesting and entertaining account of our story.
I wish i had had read this when I did my A level in history. Now I will be sharing it with my family to ensure they have fewer gaps in their history
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
"I have roamed England all my life," writes author and National Trust chairman Simon Jenkins. "For all that, until recently I did not know England, for I was not aware of how it came to be." He rectifies that oversight with this sweeping one-volume history of England, from the departure of the Romans in the late third century AD to the recent forming of the Coalition Goverment. He structures the book as a narrative, centred on key events and individuals, which is readable, gripping and almost breakneck in style (he covers over 1,500 years in only 350-odd pages) -- a real page-turner, in fact. The book is an exposition of how and why, as Jenkins concludes, "England has been a success as a country".
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Short History of England 23 Jan. 2012
By Charles
A highly commendable volume.Lavishly presented and extensively illustrated. Covering the period 410 to the present in 384 pages it is, as its title indicates, a "short history". However, all key individuals and events are covered chronologically in summary form in thirty-two chapters making for extremely easy reference. Thus the book fills a gap between the alphabetically-arranged quick reference type book and the multiple-volume extensive works. Thus there are separate shortish chapters on such periods as "Saxon Dawn", "William the Conqueror", "Magna Carta", "Reformation", "Victorian Dawn", "The First World War", "Thatcherism" and so on. There is also a lists of "One Hundred Key Dates", "Kings and Queens of England from 1066" and "Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom". Written in easy to read manner, this is a 'must' book for those who want a reference book about all the significant events and people of English history that is neither too brief to be of much use or too detailed and extensive for ready reference.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific short history 14 Feb. 2012
By William
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having read quite a few complete histories of England, I have to say that Simon Jenkins has produced something of a masterpiece of brevity. For some reason people get very shirty about popular histories as if they must be long and detailed to have any merit. Personally, I disagree; and Jenkins rather proves the point. He writes engagingly but seriously and pulls together the threads of English history into an even and compelling narrative. He is especially good on the evolution of Parliamentary democracy from its early beginnings. If you want an undemanding, concise but remarkably complete history of England, then look no further.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Sebastian Palmer TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
I've never been one to learn lists of kings, queens or prime ministers. This book appealed precisely because it deals in just that sort of thing. This is unabashedly old-fashioned 'great men' style popular history, and hugely enjoyable and readable. Bite sized chapters can be devoured very easily, in swift moments between other activities, or as several courses in one sitting. There are 32 chapters, not including intro, epilogue or addenda, the latter taking the form of an author's note and several lists: 100 key dates; kings & queens; prime ministers.

I was hooked on the book: it's enormous fun to read, and it's short and easy enough to get through it pretty swiftly too. I found it to be both very informative and a great deal of fun. Sadly though, there are also some very good reasons why much of the practice of writing on history has changed.

Two things that irk are unreferenced quotes (there are so few quotes that end- or foot-notes, citing sources, would hardly have been intrusive), and an apparent occasional indifference to history vs. myth. So such fanciful 'facts' as the witches plot against James I or the romantic symbolism of Charles I's standard bearer, found dead on the battlefield still gripping the flag, are simply trotted out, unremarked and unquestioned, amid more widely accepted and (apparently/hopefully) genuine historical fact.

The first is a sin of omission, and perhaps part of the choice to employ a simple populist style, but the second is a sin of commission, and to my mind signals a potential lack of respect for both history as a field of endeavour, and readers. Clearly Jenkins relishes his subject, but is he also simply peddling myth to make a buck?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating. 22 Jan. 2013
This is a very annoying book. The author often leaves out important information.
The first time the House of Lords was mentioned I wondered - where did that come from? That's the type if thing you read a book like this to find out, but there's no explanation at all. I thought I may have missed something and checked the index, only to find that the House of Lords doesn't get a listing for another hundred or so pages.
The author tells us of the death of people he's neglected to tell us were alive to begin with. If someone's death is important enough to include surely we should be told who they were and why their death is of note.
Most surprising of all is how badly written this book is. The writing here tends to confuse rather than clarify. I find myself having to constantly look things up to discover what the author was trying to say. That many of the wikipedia pages I've looked at in order to make sense of this book are more accurate and written in far better prose than the author's should make him ashamed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to English History
A brisk run through the history of England, much of which I already knew, but much I had forgotten. Entertaining and easy to read, but obviously does not go into any depth given... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent summary - highly recommended
Published 1 month ago by MR G DAWSON
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive yet brief
Excellent run through 1500 years of history with just enough information at each stage and quite a few amusing or telling comments. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Picky reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A useful short history.
Published 2 months ago by Geoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
lovely clean book
Published 3 months ago by RAY SAUNDERS
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent overview before reading more in depth on specific periods or topics.
Published 4 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very interesting
Published 4 months ago by matthias MacDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars and perfect for someone who hated history at school
Well written, and perfect for someone who hated history at school!
Published 5 months ago by Brenda
5.0 out of 5 stars A great history book
This is such a great book to read. It covers from the 400 AC when the Romans left the British to fight the Normans and the Saxons to Cameron winning the elections and forming a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. M. A. Tedone
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 6 months ago by FT
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