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A Short History of England [Hardcover]

Simon Jenkins
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 16.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

8 Sep 2011
From the invaders of the dark ages to today's coalition, one of Britain's most respected journalists, Simon Jenkins, weaves together a strong narrative with all the most important and interesting dates in a book that characteristically is as stylish as it is authoritative. There have been long synoptic histories of England but until now there has been no standard short work covering all significant events, themes and individuals. Published in association with the National Trust, and beautifully illustrated, this magisterial history will be the standard work for years to come.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (8 Sep 2011)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1846684617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846684616
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 18.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'An exciting account of England's history by a major figure whose zeal for his subject shines through his prose'
--Jeremy Black, Professor of History at the University of Exeter

'Let Jenkins sweep you through England's history, painting a vivid picture of this country's green and pleasant land' --City AM

'Where Jenkins excels is in his very journalistic approach... The historical events are joined up, and work as narrative' --Time Out

'A lucid and handsomely illustrated narrative, from the Saxon dawn of England to the Cameron Government' --The Times

'Full of stand-out facts ... Absolutely fascinating ... I've learnt an awful lot' --Richard Bacon, BBC Radio 2

'Immediately accessible' --Prospect

'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 ... judgements are crisp' --Spectator

'Entertaining' --Sunday Times

'Full of good writing and lively anecdotes ... worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought' --New Statesman

'A characteristically bold, wry, fluent, combative gallop through English history' --Max Hastings

Book Description

The definitive concise account of our remarkable past

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 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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15 of 15 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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91 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what I need 13 Sep 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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22 of 23 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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8 of 8 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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Heard about the book from the author during a programme on radio 4 . Inspirational talk which prompted me to want to buy and read more I am dipping in and out of each section/chapter which is easy to do.It is a must for everyone curious or wanting to find out more about the (hyphen people) Anglo-Saxon race and the growth, contribution and resiliance of this talented race to present day England.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 7 Jan 2012
By Cutebat
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Brilliant book- Brightly coloured and detailed enought to gain an understanding of the history of England in a chronological order. It really is a book you can sit down with a cup of tea relax and learn at the same time. Really happy with my purchase!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarity at last 5 Jan 2012
Simon Jenkins has produced a superb, clear version of English history. Jenkins doesn't mess around with needless detail but gives the basic history in a narrative that is as enticing as it is beautifully produced. This should be the new textbook for beginners in English history and every true Brit should have a copy on their bookshelf.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing History
I love History its one of my favourite subjects and so worth learning about. And this book has stunning history of my country England!
Published 18 days ago by Hadjra Amina Akhtar
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book - 2 major tears
Really love this book, very useful and enjoyable. However, I was very disappointed when I realised there are two large tears down the centre of some pages. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mark wozniak
2.0 out of 5 stars Give My Regards to Norman
The first part of this book enjoyable, especially after the Norman invasion of 1066. We have several short chapters which give most of the main facts of each monarch's reign, thus... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Honrus Publicus
5.0 out of 5 stars so informing
a fantastic book there must be so much research gone into it, i did not realise that most original english men were wiped out by so many foreigne invaders,it explains why all the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by rungay45
5.0 out of 5 stars Short But Excellent!
This book of less than 400 pages,encloses the history of England.
As to be expected, wars both civil and overseas, kings and Queens and Parliament jostle to take the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lewis Whiting
5.0 out of 5 stars History Made Interesting
If you want to learn about the history of England and enjoy doing so get this book. Informative, interesting and easy to read - what more can you want.
Published 3 months ago by PC
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This book by Simon Jenkins provides a brief introduction to English history. Each chapter is marked by the reign of the monarch or a significant event. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jiawen Song
5.0 out of 5 stars a good start
I bought this for a Japanese friend so they could get a fast track on our history. Very informative and easy to read, covers all the major points in English history.
Published 3 months ago by Texxy
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what I wanted, an introduction to English history
Clear writing, giving all the essential historic and political facts. Easy to read, and I've gone back to it several times as a reference book since finishing it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Gingerrabbit
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for all English
A great explanation of how we came to be, i reccomend that all English and other nationals who respect each others History also read as we all need to know about our identity.
Published 4 months ago by P A THORNE
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