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The History of England (Penguin Classics) Paperback – April 26, 1979


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (April 26, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140431330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140431339
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Donald J. Boudreaux on August 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
My comment is brief: Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote with such brilliant clarity, such a command of facts, and such a deep understanding of society that even this abridged version of his magnum opus reads like a great novel. Macaulay's History of England is timeless.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a 500-odd page abridgement of Macaulay's magisterial History of England. T.B. Macaulay is one of the supreme victorian stylist, if not unquestionably the greatest. He is also one of the forefathers of modern liberalism. The prose is brilliant, and Macaulay has bettered his master, Scott, in his renderings of a bygone era. That much being said, we deplore the need to abridge this masterpiece. Five volumes might sound daunting, but Macaulay is entertaining enough to sustain our interest throughout the length of the book. The abridgements are so extensive that the introduction is reduced to 3 pages, and the recreation of the reign of King Charles II is entirely lost. Buy this book by all means, but if you can find the full version, give that a try. A wonderful companion to this book is Hume's History of England.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Lance Kirby on December 1, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After Edward Gibbon there is no historian in the English language who can hold a candle to Macaulay. His prose is so luminous it practically glows in the dark. This abridgment focusing upon the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 sums up Macaulay's assesment of its events and meaning. Not a revolution for aristocrats only, but a revolution that increased and secured the liberties of all English people. Essential reading for all lovers of history.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bill Maudlin on July 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This was my first taste of Macaulay and I'm an aficianado! I was exhilirated by the accounts of English unanimity and activism in the face of a royal tyrant. I was refreshed by a volume of history that, for its honesty, scholarship and its spirit of freedom, was so unlike the many insipid, politically-correct, and poorly-argued texts of modern historians. I was inspired to read of an actual case of widespread resistance to arbitrary government which succeeded by its sheer tenacity employing, however, moderate and unfanatical means. I was enlightened by a view of the Highlander culture and Scottish scene generally(in the 70-odd pages of chapter 16) that had a very realistic feel to it and was a great antidote to the more fantastic intimations of the popular Mel Gibson movie regarding an earlier era in Scottish history. The descriptions of battles are detailed, interesting, and a needed reality check for those who have not experienced warfare and think of it as a big video game.
Although there was an unpleasant aspect of the book for me(Macaulay's views of Penn) that didn't quite ring true, this book is one of the truly classic histories of all time!
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Myers VINE VOICE on July 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, I don't fancy abridged editions of anything, particularly history. But, as my current budget couldn't quite stomach the cost of the full five volumes, I settled on this edition.

This reservation having been asseverated, this is as fine an abridged edition of Macaulay's History as one is likely to find. Trevor-Roper does a splendid job of pointing out the prejudicial and less than honest accounts associated with Macaulay's unforgiving Whig triumphalism, and the book does, as has been mentioned by the other reviewers, read quite well. One only regrets the truncations and what not associated with the abridged version.

Try Hume if you fancy a well-written history from the other side of the political spectrum-Also, Churchill's History of The English Speaking Peoples.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Brian King on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This Penguin Classics edition, while greatly abridged down from the original five volumes to one, offers a generous slice of Macaulay's classic history of England from 1685 to 1699.Editor Trevor-Roper has chosen to highlight the most important sections that illuminate the struggle between James II and William of Orange, between Catholic and Protestant, a struggle that continues to this day. Trevor-Roper introduces each chapter with explanatory notes that give the selections some continuity of narrative.As a bonus, you'll find a quick sketch of Lord Macaulay in the introduction.Overall, this book is the best way to understand Macaulay's unique view of history, without having to wade through his somewhat monotonous five volumes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Claffey on September 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is perhaps the best book I have ever read. It is the story of William of Oranage and James II. The descriptions of James's clash with the Bishops is purely Shakesperian, the description of La Hogue is fantastic. The history and historiography is well-analysed elsewhere, but surprise for me was the sheer power and joy of the narrative. Get the four volume set, its even better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dick from New Hampshire on August 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book for those who are tired of efforts like "2000 Years of History" in about 150 pages. This is fewer than three years in a thick volume!

It is, in fact, Volume II of Macaulay's History of England and covers 1685-1688: the Glorious Revolution. It is a pity that the other volumes are not as readily available, because, first, it is wonderful 19th Century English prose, second, some background (like Volume I) would be helpful to most American readers, and, third, one would love to have the other volumes.

If you've ever wondered what the "Whig View of History" means--you won't after finishing this volumme.
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