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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not well enough focussed, 28 Oct 2003
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This review is from: 1603: A Turning Point in British History (Hardcover)
The idea is good ... tell us about the year 1603 when the Tudors gave way to the Stuarts .... the problem is that the author is not sure where to aim the book - how much knowledge can he assume that the reader has of the events both before and after this date ? In the end the author errs on the side of too much information and the year 1603 doesn't become the focus of the book. Although interesting I felt that the information was presented in a somewhat haphazard manner and didn't seem to follow a plan and that it would have benefitted from having been better sorted and presented. The inclusion of large amounts of source material does also become tedious after a while.
I don't want to seem all negative because it is an interesting read and very informative but it seems like a wasted opportunity for what could have been a far better book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather unfocussed, 19 April 2008
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John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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A mostly thematical look at the changes occuring in Britain around this time. I think I would have preferred it if had adopted a slightly more chronological and journal-type approach going throughout the year, as I felt it bounced around a bit between rather unconnected topics. It was also a little dry in places, with sometimes overlong extracts from contemporary sources which could have benefited from being translated into slightly more modern English for ease of reading (this is after all history, not literature).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 1603...And All That....., 21 Dec 2004
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Mrs. D. J. Smith "eowyngreenleaf" (Luton, England) - See all my reviews
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Lee has chosen to take 1603 as a great turning point in British history, akin to 1066. There is no argument that the death of Elizabeth I and the accession of James I and VI, bringing England and Scotland under one monarch, did entail a change for Great Britain - most obviously civil war and eventual unification.
Although Lee has written an interesting book, it is a little choppy in places, and 1603 doesn't seem to provide enough material in itself, there being no great focus, such as the battle of Hastings is for 1066. The books spends a lot of time looking both backwards and forwards, which is OK, but not really what the book was supposed to be about.
Lee also has some interesting spellings of proper nouns: Arbella Stuart becomes Arabella, we have the Earl of Lenox, rather than Lennox and Sir Walter Ralegh, rather than Raleigh. I found this a bit odd.
There are plenty of extracts from original documents included. It is very interesting to see these in the original English they were written in, although the number of extracts does at times make it heavy going and perhaps not for the casual reader.
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1603: A Turning Point in British History
1603: A Turning Point in British History by Christopher Lee (Hardcover - 24 Mar 2003)
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