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The History of England, from the Accession of James II - Volume 1 [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Babington Macaulay
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.85
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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59) was one of the foremost historians of the Whig tradition. This hugely influential five-volume work, published between 1848 and 1861 to great popular acclaim (although it was not without its critics), traces the development of constitutional monarchy between 1685 and 1702.

Product Details

  • File Size: 893 KB
  • Print Length: 620 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TPOFTY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,379 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Kindle Version As Well As Being Free May 31, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As of mid-2011, this is by far the best Macaulay available on Kindle. It's a fine text with next to no typographical errors and complete notes. The notes in the back are not linked, but they can be reached by a number search, and the numbers are given in the main text very clearly. Most of the notes are just references; the few that are discussions can be read in a lump, meaning the reader doesn't have to go back to the notes except at long intervals.

The five-volume format is a little fussy, but it reproduces the way the books originally came out. Meanwhile the Kindle competitors are clumsier because of their greater length, and cost a couple bucks instead of nothing. This five-volume version lacks detailed chapter summaries, but those hardly seem necessary (they were added by the etext creators, not Macaulay), especially when the books can be searched.

Macaulay sets up well on Kindle because he names so many names. Even in his own time, reviewers sometimes objected to how many named characters he had, but the Kindle search capacity tames this difficulty down.

The book itself is magnificent, and there is no better copy even in print nowadays. The Penguin version, for example, is abridged.

All in all, the perfect Kindle buy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whiggish History is Grand!! March 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Macaulay's History of England was celebrated as a classic during the first century after its publication. For my generation, however, it was the paradigm of so called Whiggish history, which narrates the past --of mankind, of a nation, of a branch of science, etc-- as a story of progress leading to the present dominated by the historian's friends, fellow citizens and/or coreligionists. I have therefore allowed most of my life to pass without looking into it. Now, thanks to Kindle. I've started reading volume I --a little bit every night. I stand in awe of the author's intelligent grasp of historical events and I am fascinated by his magnificent English prose. As a concise illustration of both, I shall quote a Macaulay's very apposite remark concerning the pernicious effects that reading the Bible had on the behavior of 17th century Puritans: «...the Old Testament contained the history of a race selected by God to be witnesses of his unity and ministers of his vengeance, and specially commanded by him to do many things which, if done without his special command, would have been atrocious crimes». (Location 1151 of the Kindle edition). Macaulay's remark throws light on some current political events too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Macaulay a Historian in the Great Tradition. . . December 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thomas Babington Macaulay is a different kind of historian. He was an active politician, a devoted Whig, a brilliant scholar, and a man with a knack for making a point in entertaining prose. He wrote for generations that were just starting to receive monthly and quarterly periodicals and that had few other sources of intellectual stimulation outside London and one or two other great cities. Consequently, Macaulay's original readers had nothing against elaborate and elegant embellishments of simple historical facts even if they stretched out the work to several times the minimal length needed for the same message.

Additionally, Macaulay was fluent in classical Greek, Latin, and at least read French, Italian, and German. He taught himself Dutch to be able to follow the doings of his hero King William III of England in William's native Netherlands. Macaulay's knowledge of historic documents was encylopedic and his ability to recall what he read was summed up in the phrase "photographic memory." His parliamentary oratory, when it was known in advance that he would speak, was guaranteed to fill the House because those gifts were on display.

The bulk of volume I is properly labeled "introduction." It is a crucial read for anyone who hasn't thought of all the political evolution that had gone into the history of continental histories and that England had avoided in its island situation and security. E.g., when continental monarchies began building great standing armies, adjacent countries had to react with their own standing armies or become the pawns of powerful neighbors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalleled greatness December 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What you have here is a great mind at work. This is history in the grand style, magisterial and imbued with a keen sense of irony. It exceeds, by far, what one generally expects from even a thoroughly first-rate piece of historical scholarship for it achieves the level, from first page to last, of truly great literature.
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