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Rebellion: The History of England from James…

Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution

by Peter Ackroyd

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One of the many things the BBC Comedy Show Horrible Histories taught me is that I really like learning about the British Royals. So when this book came up, starring one of its (the tv-series') heroes, Charles II, I just had to read Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution when it was on Netgalley.

That, and I had read a number of super praising reviews from friends. Luckily, they were right and the book didn't disappointed. I really liked it. I don't know that much about that period, so I just assume he's done his homework. Most of the book is taken up by James I and Charles I (and the Civil War), after which Charles II and James II are discussed more briefly. I learned a great deal about England in the seventeenth century as this was no part of the History-curriculum at my school. (I try to remember WHAT was a part of the curriculum, but nothing comes to mind except the super obvious Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and cavemen).

The great achievements of this book are not just what you learn from it as well as how much I enjoyed reading it. I like reading about history, but I'm little experienced with reading non-fiction so sometimes after I time I feel like the book starts to drag and I have to struggle to finish them, even if they are otherwise wonderful. This fortunately never happened with Rebellion, as I enjoyed it from start to finish. The writing was a pleasure to read too.

I think some interest in the period will be necessary, of course, but even when you're perhaps not experienced reading histories or feel like non-fiction isn't really something for you; I would say: 'Try Rebellion, it doesn't read like one.' Would definitely recommend. I'm planning on reading the earlier instalments in the series as well.

Rebellion is the third book in a series on The History of England. The other books are called Foundation and Tudors.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
The third in a series by Peter Ackroyd. The author has an engaging style, and includes a number of vignettes on social topics and literature. Lots of detail on the interaction of the king at the time (or Protector i.e. Cromwell) and the parliaments. Most interesting to see is the development of the party political system, and the Westminster parlimentary system. ( )
  robeik | Jan 27, 2016 |
Another enjoyable, illuminating and very readable volume in Ackroyd's History of England. This volume is very much about the political changes during the period and is a clear introduction to the vast changes that took place. As usual in the series, there are also chapters on notable individuals and social history to round out the picture of the age.
Although I have come away with a far clearer idea what happened in terms of "one ... thing after another....", and a better understanding of the why the kings acted in the way that they did, I did not understand Cromwell. Ackroyd does try hard to convey the contradictory nature of this central figure to the period, I just felt it lacking, although perhaps that is me (or my ability to understand someone who was apparently reliant on revealed divine guidance).

I also found that the general population's apparent intense interest in religious matters followed by the reduction in interest could have been a bit better explained, although this is perhaps understandable just based on the death and destruction of the Civil Wars. But Ackroyd clearly reports this significant change in the larger society. I also found it strange that Anglicanism had so thoroughly become the religion of the country in the hundred years since Henry VIII/Elizabeth I that Ackroyd can state that only about 2-3% of the population were Roman Catholic in the time of James II. ( )
  CarltonC | Oct 8, 2015 |
This is a political history of England in the 17th century.

I hadn't realized it was going to be all politics. There was a lot of conflict between the monarchy and the Parliament. It probably didn't help that it was on audio, which is always trickier to hold my attention. I guess, in addition to the politics, there was some religion, but that doesn't make it much (any?) better for me, either. My attention focused in brief intervals, but it wasn't enough to enjoy it or even rate it “ok” for me. I had hoped to learn about a new group of people, but it just wasn't interesting enough for me. ( )
  LibraryCin | Aug 2, 2015 |
An overview of the monarchy from the accession of James I to the fleeing of James II. A general bibliography of the principle characters is provided. ( )
  Waltersgn | May 11, 2015 |
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