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A Short History of England Hardcover – December 17, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife (December 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1117598241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1117598246
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,060,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) better known as G.K. Chesterton, was an English writer, lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist. Chesterton is often referred to as the "prince of paradox." Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Michael Tozer on April 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Gilbert Keith Chesterton is certainly one of the most entertaining, and important, authors in the English language. This particular volume covers quickly, yet completely, the history of England from early Roman times to the time of the Great War, World War I. Chesterton is a man, I suspect, who would have been very hard to dislike. Though brilliant, he always approached his many opponents with a keen sense of fun and empathy. But he is certainly a writer who, though sometimes challenging, is always enjoyable.

This wonderful, short, and thoroughly readable book can really be seen as a layman's philosophical representation of the great arc of English history. To grasp Chesterton's wit and wisdom entirely, it is probably important to have at least a nodding familiarity with English history before reading the book. But, so armed, the reader will be delighted with G.K.'s retelling of the great events of England, together with his insightful commentary relative to their import.

Particularly poignant is Chesterton's rendering of the martydom of Saint Joan of Arc. He avers that, at one time or another, perhaps all British soldiers would have traded places with the common British infantryman who broke his spear to make a cross for the dying Saint. This section alone is worth the price of the entire book.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kevin E. Martin on February 5, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you love Chesterton, this work is full of the kind of cutting humor and cultural insight that is his best. The title is a bit misleading in the sense that this is more a "collection of essays on aspects of English History." It should also be seen as a critique of other popular histories of his day. However, he remains the best Christian apologist in the modern era and of the modern era.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ivaylo Stanev on May 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Before reading this book you should review your high-school history textbook or the Wikipedia equivalent.

Then you can enjoy the colorful language and original analysis of GK Chesterton. Assuming that the reader already knows the basic dates and names, he presents the evolution of beliefs, classes and state in England from pre-roman times all the way to our days. He tells a tale of passion, ambition and blood shed, of the people who pay all the bills for the glory or disgrace of leaders, and of how things went from bad to worse during the last 2000 years.

A good reading with a touch of intellectual challenge.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Fodge on July 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was recommended to my by my daughter. I love Chesterton's ability to notice patterns in the philosophical underpinnings of different ages and peoples within those ages, and then to craft summary phrases that stick in one's mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Summons on February 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great short story of English history. It is well written and concise. Hard for me to put down but then I love history!
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By J. A. Underwood on February 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is written stream of consciousness, conjecture of inner workings of souls featured in conventional British history, and pure speculation as to whether these souls existed at all. If the reader accepts the notion of existence of these souls and their deeds, the author urges the reader to proceed with incredulity regarding greatness or infamy previously conferred upon the rock stars whose stories made it into nonfiction shelves world wide. This book has the potential of reducing your knowledge of British history to a little golden book.
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Chesterton, journalist and theologian, continues to shine a light in the dark places of modern and post-modern thought. Read it and find out for yourself.
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Chesterton presents an anthropological, social, religious, and philosophical history of England. This highlights the unique forces that have created the nation. It is not a history composed of events, dates, and historical figures around which most histories have been formed.

Written in what I would consider a "high style," the content can be difficult. There are also clever references to the times in which Chesterton lived. So anyone not acquainted with news of the times would miss the "insider" references. This keeps the history from earning a fifth star.
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