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A History of Britain: At the Edge of the…

A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World? 3000 B.C. - 1603 A.D (2000)

by Simon Schama

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: A History of Britain (1)

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1,457155,137 (3.94)27
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» See also 27 mentions

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“A Selected History of England from 55 BC–AD 1603” would’ve been a more accurate subtitle for this work. The first 3,000 years or so are quickly glanced over and we really commence with the Roman invasion.

What surprised – and disappointed me – was how the author bypassed the Wars of the Roses, which is the period of English history that I’m most interested in. It’s as though he couldn’t wait to get to the Tudor period, especially the reigns of Henry VIII & Elizabeth I. Even the picture section is devoid of all the Lancastrian and Yorkist kings, jumping from Richard II’s portrait to Henry VIII’s.

But the periods that the book *does* focus on is interesting enough. While some reviewers have expressed dissatisfaction with the emphasis being on England and its monarchy, as opposed to Britain as a whole, plus other aspects like inventions, English monarchy has always been a fascination for me, therefore I’m happy with this approach.

In short, this is a good read, albeit a patchy history of England, with Scotland, Wales, and Ireland co-starring at times. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Jul 19, 2017 |
Great Britain
  CPI | Jul 29, 2016 |
One of the best history books I have ever read along with the TV series. History can be boring in the wrong hands but not in Simon's. ( )
  Gary_Power | Jul 10, 2016 |
An excellent history. Much more complete than the BBC series. ( )
  ebeach | Sep 12, 2015 |
Fascinating history of Britain particularly focusing on kings and queens. ( )
  cbinstead | Jul 16, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Simon Schamaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, TimothyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Michael Sissons — true Brit
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History clings tight but it also kicks loose.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0786866756, Hardcover)

What do you get when you combine the resources and ethos of the BBC with the literary panache of one of the world's best narrative historians? The answer is Simon Schama's A History of Britain, the first volume of which accompanies the BBC-History Channel series of the same name. In a beautifully written and thoughtfully crafted book, studded with striking portraits, pictures, and maps, Schama, the bestselling author of books on European cultural history such as The Embarrassment of Riches and Citizens, as well as 1999's Rembrandt's Eyes, has managed to be both conventional and provocative.

He tells the official version of Britain's island story--from Roman Britain, through the Norman conquest, the struggles of the Henrys and Richards with their barons and clerics, Edward I and the subjugation of Wales, King Death (the plague), and on to the Henrician reformation, before closing with the remarkable reign of the virgin queen, Elizabeth I. But, while sticking to a script familiar to anyone who sat up and listened in history lessons at school, Schama brings it all alive, with memorable prose--Simon de Montfort's rebel parliament is described as inaugurating the "union between patriotism and insubordination"; with Henry VIII, Schama says, "you could practically smell the testosterone." And with fine sensitivity, too, particularly on the symbolism of buildings, memorials, language, and ceremonies, and on the complex relations between England and her Celtic and Catholic neighbors. If history must have gloss, then let it be written and presented like this. --Miles Taylor, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:59 -0400)

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Britain from the time of first settlement to the death of Elizabeth I.

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