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A Concise History of England from Stonehenge to the Microchip (Illustrated National Histories) Paperback – June, 1980

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Revised edition (June 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500271828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500271827
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,820,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Read Taylor on February 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book looking for something basic. I was hoping for a quick read that would give me the basics so that I could understand the more in-depth Oxford History of Britain that assumes familiarity with England that I didn't have. The very basics were in here, so it met my lowest expectations.
The book, though, is almost 1/4 pictures; pictures of politicians, kings, factory workers and knights fill at least half of every other page. Since the book is only 225 pages or so, I knew it wasn't going to be thorough. I had a feeling, though, that the author's annoying habit of mentioning people once by name with no introduction or background and then forgetting them for the rest of the book was probably due to his need to make room for pictures of medeival churches.
This is a fine brief book. I read it in about four hours even with flipping back to maps and searching the index occasionally to see if someone had ever been introduced before. Before ordering it make sure you actually want the fastest run through English history possible. Probably better for those needing to refresh what they learned a long time ago than for people hoping for a starting block for the subject.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on July 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
For a very quick spin through the centuries that comprise English history this book does the trick very well. It is well written, focuses on the major developments and personalities involved in key events and has some interesting illustrations.

Certainly no book could do justice to this incredibly complex subject in 225 pages but for a fast review of the basic patterns in British history this is a fine selection. I like to read this

before a trip to London to put the historical sights into perspective again.

I'd recommend this as a review or a concise introduction to a fascinating subject .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. A. Yorke on June 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I did a fair amount of research to select this book. I have wanted to learn something of English history for a while now and I chose this book because it seemed manageable in length. I thought its 250 pages would be inform me without being the kind of overkill that the other books I considered (all 600-800 pages) would be. Halliday's England: A Concise History was written about the time that I would have (should have) been studying this sort of thing in high school (mid-1960s) and it reminded me of why I got so little out of my history courses in those days: it is little more than a relentless regurgitation - in chronological order - of the 47 zillion different things that happened in the land that we call the UK since the days of Stonehenge; there is no overview, no synthesis, no context, no comparisons, no reflections, nothing. Just a ton of isolated facts out of which one is supposed to come away informed. There is no forest, only an immense number of trees.

Examples: (1) For centuries England wandered back and forth between different religions, different nationalities of its royalty, different borders, different governmental structures, etc. To tell such a complicated story without first giving some kind of big-picture overview leaves all the data points random and extraordinarily confusing. Some context would have been enormously helpful. I was surprised to learn (after 50 pages of reading) that English was not the primary language of England until the 1500s. Doesn't that seem rather important, rather illustrative of all the changes that the country went through before that time? It's a minor point but captures how a pure chronological litany sometimes isn't good enough, as is surely the case with this subject matter.
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