If your knowledge of British history - like mine - has a few gaps in it, this may be just the book to fill the holes. It manages to combine a broad overview of trends and emerging themes with enough detail to fill out those trends and themes in a memorable and interesting way. I found it particularly fascinating on two periods: the time just prior to the Norman Conquest, and the Tudor age/Reformation. Its faults are mainly a reflection of its age (it was originally written during World War II): a tendency to assume background knowledge of history that can no longer be taken for granted, and a tendency to dwell on a now-vanished empire. It remains, nonetheless, a fascinating introduction to English history.