During the 229-year period from 1485 to 1714, England transformed itself from a minor feudal state into what has been called "the first modern society" and emerged as the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world.Those years hold a huge and captivating story. The English survived repeated epidemics and famines, one failed invasion and two successful ones, two civil wars, a series of violent religious reformations and counter-reformations, and confrontations with two of the most powerful monarchs on earth.
"Old-fashioned and inaccurate"
These 36 lectures tell the remarkable story of a tumultuous thousand-year period in the history of England. Dominated by war, conquest, and the struggle to balance the stability brought by royal power with the rights of the governed, it was a period that put into place the foundation of much of the world we know today. As you journey through this largely chronological narrative you'll see key themes emerge, including the assimilation of successive waves of invaders, the tense relationship between kings and the nobility, and the constant battles over money and taxation.
"I was happily surprised!"
William Shakespeare may have been the greatest playwright in the English language, but how does he measure up as a historian? In this brilliant comparison between the events and characters in Shakespeare's history plays and the actual events that inspired them, acclaimed historian John Julius Norwich examines the nine works that together amount to an epic masterpiece on England's most fascinating period.
"Tangled but useful"
The Tower of London is one of the most historic sites in all of England and still one of the most popular. All around is the modern city of London, one of the world's most prosperous and power financial districts, but the Tower is still a daunting structure that looms across the landscape. Not a single structure but a vast network of medieval and early modern fortifications, it anchors the southeastern end of the old city and controls access to the River Thames and, through it, London's connection to the sea.
In Foundation the chronicler of London and of its river, the Thames, takes us from the primeval forests of England's prehistory to the death of the first Tudor king, Henry VII, in 1509. He guides us from the building of Stonehenge to the founding of the two great glories of medieval England: common law and the cathedrals. He shows us glimpses of the country's most distant past - a Neolithic stirrup found in a grave, a Roman fort, a Saxon tomb, a medieval manor house.
Today, roses are a sign of love and luxury, but for over 30 years they provided the symbols for two houses at war for control of England. Thousands of people died and many more were injured fighting beneath the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster, and the noble families ruling England tore each other apart in a struggle that was as bitter as it was bloody.
England's turbulent seventeenth century is vividly laid out before us, but so too is the cultural and social life of the period, notable for its extraordinarily rich literature, including Shakespeare's late masterpieces, Jacobean tragedy, the poetry of John Donne and Milton, and Thomas Hobbes's great philosophical treatise, Leviathan. Rebellion also gives us a very real sense of the lives of ordinary English men and women, lived out against a backdrop of constant disruption and uncertainty.
"Good but not great"
It almost goes without saying that Westminster Abbey is one of the foremost sites in Europe when it comes to being steeped in history. Dating back to the reign of William the Conqueror and the Norman conquest, Westminster Abbey has traditionally been the site of royal coronations, royal weddings, and royal burials, and anyone who enters can instantly feel that they are walking in the footsteps of some of the most influential figures in history, from Henry III to Queen Elizabeth I.
The former King of England, Edward II was murdered in Berkeley Castle, near Gloucester, England. In 1326, Edward's wife, Isabella of France, led an invasion against her husband. The following year, Edward was made to renounce the throne in favor of his son Edward. This was the first time that a king of England had been dethroned since Ethelred in 1013.
"Excellent introduction of British History"
The tumult and opulence of England’s Regency era burst from the pages in this work of literary nonfiction by acclaimed author Carolly Erickson. When dementia forces King George III to vacate his throne, the kingdom slips into a decade marked with excess, scandal, and riots. King George has suffered bouts of mental instability before, but in 1810 he shows no signs of recovering. Public and government business halts as word of his condition leaks out. Hoping to control the crisis, Parliament appoints the king’s unpopular son Prince George IV as Regent or caretaker.
"Riveting History of Regency Period"
A History of Britain poses questions that have universal timeless resonance. What makes or breaks a nation? To whom do you give your allegiance and why? Where do the roots of your community lie - in your hearth and home, your village or city, your tribe, your faith? And, finally, what is Britain? Also, listen to A History of Britain, Volume 2.
"Accessible to the lay-person."
In 1848, the British East India Company, having lost its monopoly on the tea trade, engaged Robert Fortune, a Scottish gardener, botanist, and plant hunter, to make a clandestine trip into the interior of China - territory forbidden to foreigners - to steal the closely guarded secrets of tea horticulture and manufacturing. For All the Tea in China is the remarkable account of Fortune's journeys into China - a thrilling narrative that combines history, geography, botany, natural science, and old-fashioned adventure.
"Like Fingernails on a Chalkboard"
Which battle was fought 'For England, Harry and St George'? Who demanded to be painted 'warts and all'? What - and when - was the Battle of the Bulge? In A Short History of England, bestselling author Simon Jenkins answers all these questions - and many more - as he tells the tumultuous story of a fascinating nation. From the invaders of the Dark Ages to today's coalition, via the Tudors, the Stuarts and two world wars, Jenkins weaves together a gripping narrative with all the most important and interesting dates in his own inimitable style.
This first volume covers our heritage, our links to England, how the colonies grew, the mighty force of religion in early America, and the oppression felt by the colonists. It describes why our ancestors fought for their beliefs, and their efforts to create a government limited in scope by checks and balances so that it would not have the power to oppress the people.
"A Promising Series Degenerates"
Eminent - and best selling - historian Simon Schama takes the listener back in time to the Britain that existed in the 17th and 18th centuries, introducing us to the ill-fated Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, John Milton and Benjamin Franklin, and some not-so-famous characters who helped define the course of British history. "Delightfully accessible," say the critics, "a powerful experience."
"All around outstanding"
Nearly 20 years before Jamestown was settled, the English established one of the earliest colonies in North America. Like other early settlements, Roanoke struggled to survive in its infancy. The colony's leader, John White, sailed back to England in 1587 to bring more supplies and help. What White found when he came back to Roanoke led to one of the most enduring mysteries in American history. Despite the fact he left over 100 people in Roanoke in 1587, White returned to literally nothing, with all traces of the settlement gone and no evidence of fighting.
In the 17th century, the people of London could boast that they had developed some of the most advanced firefighting technology and methods in the world, including the use of primitive fire engines. There were even vendors of such machines who advertised in papers of their machines' abilities to quench great fires.
Apart from The Last of the Mohicans, most Americans know little of the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years' War, and yet it remains one of the most fascinating periods in our history. In January 2006, PBS will air The War That Made America, a four-part documentary about this epic conflict. Fred Anderson, the award-winning and critically acclaimed historian, has written the official tie-in to this exciting television event.
"A thorough and absorbing history"
Jamestown is fondly remembered today for being the first permanent English settlement in the colonies, but it was not fondly remembered by those who lived and died there. The English quickly learned it would be difficult to establish a permanent settlement because of the poor weather, the swampy terrain, the hostile natives living nearby, and the general inexperience and ineptitude of the English settlers.
This entertaining volume provides a concise history of one of the world's premiere cities. Acclaimed author A.N. Wilson starts at the beginning, when London was founded by the Romans, and continues to contemporary times, hitting all the historical highlights along the way. London is the perfect starter book for anyone wishing to understand this great city a little better, and even seasoned London fans will find new information here.