The Shortest History of England

The Shortest History of England

by

, british, rejected, history, 2021, best-books, History, Nonfiction, European Literature

In the internationally acclaimed Shortest History of Germany, James Hawes showed that the whole sweep of a national story can be captured in a short book packed with maps and graphics, throwing striking new light on the present day. Now he does the same for his own country.

From the Roman invasion through the Britons, Anglo-Saxons and Danes, via the Norman Conquest, the Anglo-French Empire and the Reformation, through the Civil War, Empire and the wars of the twentieth century, and up to the question-filled present, England emerges in a strange, new light. The world’s most successful colonial culture is often seen as a uniquely stable Island Kingdom. A gallop through its story shows that it is, in fact, a place shot through with ancient fault lines, locked into European history and overlaid for the past thousand years with that most English of factors, a class system like nowhere else on Earth.

With the Empire gone, Brexit looming and the break-up of the United Kingdom itself a real possibility, there’s never been a time like this to understand the real history of England.

Title:The Shortest History of England
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781760641658
Format Type:

    The Shortest History of England Reviews

  • Robert O'Malley

    It always feels wrong to give a book one star but as it is the only negative (and not just ambivalent) option, I don't feel I can rate it in any other way. My rating is somewhat harsh in one respect: ...

  • Eoin McGrath

    Got this one done just in time to have a thrilling discussion in case it 'comes home' jk jk. That aside, great read. I am a big fan of the format since reading the Germany book - it did feel slightly ...

  • Victor Sonkin

    The Shortest History of Germany was even better; here, perhaps, the author was treading waters that were too close to home, which resulted in some messiness of the general picture. This said, it's als...

  • Lucas Podesta

    The Shortest History of England takes as its main argument that the North/South divide is the driving force of social and political change in the country. Hawes demonstrates how this divide is agricul...

  • Oliver Johnson

    James Hawes' 'The Shortest History of England' does exactly as it says on the tin, which is, no doubt, a monumental task for any historian. James' Hawes pulls it off, but only just. Why you might ask?...

  • Tim

    I don't know how he's done it, but James Hawes has managed to twist, bend, contort, England's tortured history and stuff it into a tin can labelled, 'The North-South Divide'. It all began with the Rom...

  • Ben

    In some ways I could have given this a good rating. As a mystery, which builds up the character and story of various central characters (principally the popular and elite classes of England's southeas...

  • Ben Letton

    Skates along the surface of history to construct an interesting narrative of a minority elite ruling a down-trodden majority, and how that has created and maintained a North / South divide. It always ...

  • Judith Bowen

    Readable but so inaccurate. Unreliable history is dangerous historyGave this up when I read that cardinal wolsey had been beheaded in 1530.Such a blatant inaccuracy is unforgivable...

  • Michael Sweeney

    This book starts well. In a fast moving narrative it covers ground from the Celtic origins of the British Isles to the Norman Conquest and makes this murky, confusing period relatively intelligible. H...