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Great Tales From English History: Cheddar Man to DNA: A Treasury of True Stories of the Extraordinary People Who Made Britain Great Paperback – 18 Oct 2007
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Beautifully written, full of things you didn't know and well worth a read if you want a new view on stories you though you already understood (LIVING HISTORY)
A great introduction to history and legend for children and adults who've forgotten (OBSERVER)
These human high-spots flash past like a newsreel with the leading characters in close-up, leaving you thinking - what an exceptional country ours is to produce so many interesting people (Books of the Year, DAILY MAIL)
Lacey's lively snapshots are always pithy and are delivered with a winning gung-ho enthusiasm (Books of the Year, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
* First volume of three recounting the dramatic story of England, from ancient times to the present day, by the No. 1 bestselling author of THE YEAR 1000See all Product description
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So I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover this book which serves as a great complement to all those history books that give you the facts but little else. It adds spice and a considerable amount of colour to some major but often also minor items of history. A great asset is that, although the layout is chronological, you don't have to read it that way. You can dip into it, race from Captain Oates to Blenheim, from Bosworth Field to Dr Crippen, from Caedmon to Dunkirk. It helps of course if you have some knowledge of English history to put some things in their proper perspective, but this is not an absolute prerequisite. Lacey's style of writing is engaging and accessible and he has a knack of telling you in just a few lines where you are and with whom and what's going on, and I found (and find) it very hard to put the book down once I've started reading in it. I have only one, minor, complaint: even with 453 pages (not counting the bibliography, preface, index etc.) I find it a bit short and I reverently ask Mr. Lacey (paraphrasing Oliver Twist): can we have some more please?
Full of new theories on familiar subjects, every page is an education.
It is also a book that may enhance your national pride as it lists many positive accomplishments Britons have achieved through the ages (as well as a few we'd rather forget)!
The author takes you on a rollercoaster ride through the early history ofEngland, presenting 'snap-shots' of important people and events in small,focused chapters of between three and six pages. This may sound too short,and I can see from other reviews that this is not everyones cup of tea,but I found the length just right.
If you are an avid historian or have a great deal of prior knowledge ofEnglish history then this book is probably not for you. If you are seekingvast detail on one particular event in English history then this book isprobably not for you. However, if the history of England is new to you, oryour memory of school history lessons is somewhat clouded, then this bookis a fantastic introduction or re-introduction to the fascinating past ofthis country.
The author has stirred my interest in so many different events that I amdetermined to study them in greater depth at a later date. I cannot praisethis book higher than that.
This is an ideal bedside book which you can dip into at will to read a single story or half-a-dozen if you can't get off to sleep. The stories are arranged chronologically and if you remember everything in this book, you will have a considerable general knowledge of English history over nearly ten thousand years. Great value too.