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Civil War: The History of England Volume III by [Ackroyd, Peter]
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Civil War: The History of England Volume III Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in History of England (3 Book Series)

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Length: 529 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Book Description

The third volume of Peter Ackroyd's magisterial six-part History of England, taking readers from the accession of the first Stuart king, James I, to the overthrow of his grandson, James II

From the Inside Flap

In Civil War, Peter Ackroyd continues his dazzling retelling of England's history, beginning with the progress south of the Scottish king, James VI, who on the death of Elizabeth I became the first Stuart king of England, and ending with the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson, James II. The Stuart dynasty brought together the two nations of England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm still marked by political divisions that echo to this day. More importantly, perhaps, the Stuart era was scarred by the cruel depredations of civil war, and the killing of a king.

Ackroyd paints a vivid portrait of James I and his heirs. Shrewd and opinionated, the new king was eloquent on matters as diverse as theology, witchcraft and the abuses of tobacco, but his attitude to the English parliament sowed the seeds of the division that would split the country in the reign of his hapless son, Charles I. Ackroyd offers an equally brilliant portrayal - warts and all - of Charles's nemesis Oliver Cromwell, Parliament's great military leader and England's only dictator, who began his career as a political liberator but ended it as much of a despot as 'that man of blood', the king he executed.

England's turbulent seventeenth century is vividly laid out before us, but so too is the cultural and social life of the period, notable for its extraordinarily rich literature, including Shakespeare's late masterpieces, Jacobean tragedy, the poetry of John Donne and Milton and Thomas Hobbes' great philosophical treatise, Leviathan. Civil War also gives us a very real sense of ordinary English men and women, living their lives against a backdrop of constant disruption and uncertainty.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 21397 KB
  • Print Length: 529 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market Ed. edition (25 Sept. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JPCCJGW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,565 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I bought this because my daughter will study the Stuarts in A level history and I wanted to be able to 'argue' with her and brush up my sketchy knowledge of the details of the period. I bought other books and this complements the others nicely. It can sometimes seem to get bogged down but soon picks up with new threads to the complex story. Am enjoying it.
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I pray for longevity for Peter Ackroyd, so he can finish the remaining 3 volumes of this incredible series. Although some won't like his style, I love the way he has always has an eye for the side roads - the overlooked aspects of history. The narrative constantly digresses, revealing fascinating detail that runs alongside the mainstream. The Peter Ackroyd book of fascinating anecdotes would run to hundreds of volumes. He writes about subjects he has a genuine love for - and thankfully there are many! This book features one of England's darker periods and Ackroyd has a wonderful eye for darkness. Read them all and wait for the next installments with great anticipation.
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History, a subject I found difficult at school, brought to life and made so interesting and easy to assimilate.

I do appreciate Peter's Ackroyd' style.
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This is another first class piece of work and covers our island's history from accession of James the First to the coming of William of Orange to take over the throne vacated when James the Second fled into exile. The Jacobean period, the execution of Charles the First, the Civil War and Cromwell's Protectorate, the restoration of the Stuart monarchy under Charles the Second and all points in between are investigated. Ackroyd's usual meticulous research brings the events, the participants, the ongoing religious tensions and the fluctuating role of Parliament in the governance of the realm into sharp focus.

This is history as it should be told, with our all too human failings, mistakes, lusts, hunger for power, greed and thirst for revenge writ large. The huge personalities of the time are all given sufficient care and attention to help us understand not just how things happened, but why and what role the constant fault lines between Catholic and Protestant worship played in these great games of power and politics. The violence and tragedy of civil war is not glossed over, nor is the retribution meted out by Charles the Second to his father's regicides.

Ackroyd is particularly skilled at putting events into context historically whilst providing biographical details which add lustre to the vivid and diverse cast of characters who shaped this period of our long, complex history.

I await the next volume with considerable interest and have no hesitation in heartily recommending this superb book. There is no shortage of illustrations which are all well chosen and eye catching.
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Completely satisfied with product and service.
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Very entertaining record
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CANNOT WAIT FOR VOLUME IV

Peter Ackroyd is wonderful at giving snippets of information that are generally lacking in other works. Instead of James II abdicated - we get James II "rose from his bed and departed through a conveniently opened back door ........" This event should have settled the issue - but we know from 1715 and 1745 it did not.

And what was the issue? Simply - who had the right to rule - king or parliament? The answer - those who have the ability. Enter Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector. In eight months Cromwell and the council, in the absence of parliament (too much talk and not enough action), passed more than eighty ordinances. The postal service was reformed, prisons and highways improved, and the treasury re-organised. Christmas, duals, cock-fighting, bear baiting, swearing and drunkenness, were banned, and Opera and music flourish.

The cost to human life was astronomical. Not until 1914 were the numbers exceeded. What was the result? Parliament did win the war, and science begun to flourished, but without this interlude would this have happened? Who knows.
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