Synopses & Reviews
The heroes and villains, triumphs and disasters of English history are instantly familiarand#151;from the Norman Conquest to Henry VIII, Queen Victoria to the two world wars. But to understand their full significance we need to know the whole story. A Short History of England
sheds new light on all the key individuals and events in English history by bringing them together in an enlightening account of the countryand#8217;s birth, rise to global prominence, and then partial eclipse. It is the definitive narrative of how todayand#8217;s England came to be.
With 16 Pages of Glorious, Full-Color Illustrations
"A fresh treatment of an old subject by the British journalist and Chairman of the National Trust, Jenkins' (England's Thousand Best Houses) conclusion provides a standpoint from which to evaluate the whole work, where he writes: 'England is losing the will to govern the non-English peoples beyond its borders, even those elsewhere in the British Isles.' He sees an English parliament 'in partial thrall' to its semi-autonomous Celtic fringe and suggests an English assembly as a counter, with a written code of rights and local democracy. This solution keeps with his historical account of what he calls the English nation, where martial centralization of power has alternated with parliamentary privilege through control of the purse strings. Jenkins shows how democracy evolved from the monarchy's need for tax revenues as leverage against the increase of parliamentary power, creating financial institutions like the City of London. His treatment of the modern era, and Margaret Thatcher's deplorable dismantling of the political institutions of 'Little England,' closes this insightful look at our British cousins. Agent: Inkwell. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
and#147;Simon Jenkins has boldly written a unitary, continuous text, taking and#147;Englandand#8221; as his subject. The boldness should not surprise us. He is a stellar public intellectual and the best newspaper columnist in the business: the wit, dazzle and scornful elan of his weekly Guardian pieces make them required readingand#133;A Short History of England is intermittently enlivened by his passion for political analysis; the approach also reflects his architectural bent, as chairman of the National Trust and author of several invigorating surveys of houses and churches.and#8221;
and#147;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.and#8221;
and#147;Full of good writing and lively anecdote... Simon Jenkins's Short History of England, published in association with the National Trust, is a handsome book whose narrative gains strength as it goes through the Middle Ages and finds itself in the modern period. His account of the 20th century is full of the good judgements one might hope for from such a sensible and readable commentator, and they alone are worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought. Jenkins is especially good at analysing what he sees as the central idea - the balance between royal power and popular consent.and#8221;
and#147;The book is elevated by the authorand#8217;s engaging writing style, and he does a remarkable job with English royal history from 1066 to 1714, demonstrating how the individual kings and queens fit together into one coherent storyand#133;A broad, accessible history for those readers not well versed in English history.and#8221;
and#147;Dip into a chapter of an evening and let Jenkins sweep you through England's history, painting a vivid picture of this country's green and pleasant land.and#8221;
and#147;Immediately accessibleand#133; His book is an entertaining and useful one, and if his ideal reader is probably a bright young schoolboy, inspired by a visit to some crumbling castle and keen to find out more about his nationand#8217;s history, there is nothing wrong with that.and#8221;
The English bestseller by the former editor of the London Times: a concise, beautifully illustrated narrative of the rise and reign of England, from the Dark Ages to the Tudors, Winston Churchill, and beyond.
About the Author
Simon Jenkins is the author of the international bestsellers Englandand#8217;s Thousand Best Churches and Englandand#8217;s Thousand Best Houses, the former editor of The Times and Evening Standard and a columnist for the Guardian. He is chairman of the National Trust.