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Author Topic: What is the best book about English history?  (Read 7437 times)

MDriver1981

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What is the best book about English history?
« on: 25/02/2009 06:51:59 »
I've read many English Novels, fiction and non-fiction.  Recently I read the 1916 novel King of the Khyber Rifles by British writer Talbot Mundy (1879-1940), and loved it.  It was a first edition I bought from some sap in Canada for a dollar. I find the era of British India interesting. Raj, Maharaj, Sahib, ect.  The British were the last of the colonial powers on that gem of land.
 

As for Non-fiction, my favorite British book is The Isles: A History by Norman Davies
« Last Edit: 25/02/2009 19:23:27 by MDriver1981 »


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: What is the best book about English history?
« Reply #1 on: 25/02/2009 07:04:48 »
It's not just English history (American history is included), but Winston Churchill's "A History of the English Speaking Peoples" is a monumental, 4-volume work for which he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1953. It covers the period from the Roman invasion of Britain in 55CE through to the start of WWI.

It is available via bit torrent as an audio book from here
« Last Edit: 25/02/2009 07:10:36 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: What is the best book about English history?
« Reply #2 on: 25/02/2009 13:34:25 »
My wife's a historian so I'll ask her. But judging by the number of books we have she clearly has never made her mind up :-)

I think it is like any specialist subject in that it will depend on the level you want to delve to. You would not recommend a layman to read physics papers in a Journal like Nature for example. The book I suggested on Cromwell was good in that it had a good balance of factual data (contemporary documents etc) with some interpretation so you got a feel for the norms of the day. At least I understood, enjoyed it and learnt a great deal. The other extreme being falling asleep after the first few pages.

Probably there is no single book that can cover such a subject although Churchill made a good attempt. An excellent book I read not too long ago was the "War Diaries 1939-1945: Field Marshall Lord Alanbrooke" which gave a personal and unedited contemporanious view of the progress of WWII with a fascinating insight into his relationship with Churchill.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: What is the best book about English history?
« Reply #3 on: 25/02/2009 14:44:16 »
graham - Your mentioning Alanbrooke reminded me. I have "The War Memoires of David Lloyd George". That is also an insightful book.
« Last Edit: 25/02/2009 14:46:05 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: What is the best book about English history?
« Reply #4 on: 25/02/2009 17:34:53 »
Ah yes, DB, I also have read those tomes (on WWI) and are also a good read. He was very critical of the young Churchill I remember. Being a politician though, these were carefully written and edited by him :-) Alanbrooke's diaries I thought were very honest and plainly written, and showed self doubt (not something that Lloyd George displayed too often). Both were great men though and some of the people I would love to have had dinner with. Another good thread to start perhaps:-)
 

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Re: What is the best book about English history?
« Reply #5 on: 25/02/2009 17:56:51 »
"Who would you like to have for dinner - the anthropophagy thread"  ;D
 

Offline JimBob

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What is the best book about English history?
« Reply #6 on: 25/02/2009 19:50:48 »
It's not just English history (American history is included), but Winston Churchill's "A History of the English Speaking Peoples" is a monumental, 4-volume work for which he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1953. It covers the period from the Roman invasion of Britain in 55CE through to the start of WWI.

It is available via bit torrent as an audio book from here

I must agree, this is the best and most well written history I have ever read. I enjoyed it so much I bought a boxed set that I have now read at least 5 times.
 

Offline patricia39

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What is the best book about English history?
« Reply #7 on: 16/10/2010 08:27:18 »
Why don't you try the book of Robert Lacey's Great Tales from English History. This is a very educational and entertaining book. The chapters are short but very descriptive and informative.
 

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What is the best book about English history?
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