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The Birth of Britain (A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
- ASIN : B07NMFMQJ6
- Publisher : RosettaBooks (April 29, 2013)
- Publication date : April 29, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 8304 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 343 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #34,839 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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More info at: fisheracademy(dot)blogspot
If you happen to want a brisk, fast paced, and elegant review of early history, you probably couldn't do better than this, And if you went a great read that will teach a lot and even make you feel better about mankind, you probably couldn't do better either.
This isn't an in-depth look at any particular part of Anglo history but a narrative about the formation of 20th century British culture from Roman times to the end of the War of the Roses. The prose is very readable and gives an appreciation of key individuals without going into abundant detail. It gives an excellent overview of early English history for the uninitiated or a cultural overview for those that are more aware of the history.
Originally I wanted to read this for no other reason because of his writing style but then I learned something or two about English history as well! If you're a fan of Winston Churchill and a history buff as I am then I cannot recommend this too highly.
Churchill also applies his parliamentarian experience to explain how representative and democratic institutions such as Parliament and the jury in court cases arose in Britain. As he writes near the end of this initial volume (quoting…):
The Parliamentary conception which had prevailed under the house of Lancaster had gained many frontiers of constitutional rights. [With the advent of the Tudors in 1485] These were now to pass into long abeyance. Not until the seventeenth century were the old maxims — “Grievances before supply,” “Responsibility of Ministers in accordance with the public will,” “The Crown the servant and not the master of the State” — brought again into the light, and, as it happened, the glare of a new day.
Top reviews from other countries
It's a wonderful book, written in beautiful English by a brilliant man and writer. I'm only part way through it, having also bought the later volumes in "A History of the English-Speaking Peoples"; but already I'm completely hooked by it, and I know I'll regret it when I reach the end - as I regretted reaching the end of Churchill's War Memoirs. I love the way Churchill (maybe somewhat romantically) starts to make connections between the earliest history of Britain and the modern British traits; they may sometimes be fanciful, but they're still thought-provoking.
I recommend this book (and I'm quite sure the others in the same series of books) very highly, to those interested in history, and to those who just love a really beautiful read.
In this attempt Churchill succeeds, and these books are a great and very readable story. However, they are coloured by Churchill's own view of the world, his own prejudices and his own ego.
This forst volume covers the period from 55 BC, with the invasion of Julius Caesar through to Battle of Bosworth and the start of the Tudor period. A huge period to cover, and with some very convoluted episodes (especially the wars of the roses), Churchill has done a great job of distilling it down to a few key episodes, and laying out the sequence of events in a clear fashion. The triumph of the book is the very readable prose, as he intended it is no scholarly, yet boring analysis, but a highly entertaining romp through the events that made this great nation.
This (and the other three volumes) is highly recommended for those with a casual interest in history, and find the usual text books far too dull. Also, anyone who enjoys a good tale will find much to enjoy here. For an authoritative history text I would advise you to look elsewhere.
The emphasis in the book is on how the populace of England was affected by the affairs of state and how the parliamentary system evolved. There is lots of insight, documented and speculative, into the personality and feelings of the key actors. Right or wrong academically, it makes for good reading.
The title is shamelessly misleading: this is a history of England and, at times, a history of southern England. I wonder if the later books branch out and justify the grandiose strapline.
The reason it gets 5 stars and not just 4 is that you can practically hear Churchill intoning this work. The vocabulary is joyous and utterly identifiably his - leapfrogging the decades and seemingly alive. What a pleasure.
Disappointed really because for years I had considered it to be on my "must read" list. I am a very big admirer of Winston Churchill, despite his errors of judgement he is still up there in the top ten of amazing people of his time.
But it failed for me because of the never ending list of Kings, Queens, aggressors, and conquerors, I couldn't keep pace with it, and in the end I felt confused about what really is "English".
I guess I was hoping for less in the way of historical facts, and more in the way of an enlightened overview of how our nation eventually developed.
Maybe it works better for people with an historians mind.