This second work by Ackroyd on British history is equally informative and fascinating as the first. The length of time covered here is considerably sh..Show More »orter and easier to get your head around. The narrator's style becomes familiar and is much less distracting. I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment: The Reformation.
For anyone who is not a specialist in American politics, yet still wants to know the political history that informed the Founding Fatherrs, this is a ..Show More »"must read". It's informative, yet engaging enough for the average reader.
And it gives a much clearer understanding of the 17th century political turmoil roiling in England, Scotland and Ireland at a time when English settlement in America was at an embryonic stage: the Stuart dynasty; Anglicanism vs. Presbyterianism vs. Catholicism; the question of the divine right of kings; regicide; Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth Interregnum; the Restoriation; and the Glorious Revolution that brought William and Mary to the throne.
Fascinating stuff. Here in Northern Virginia, for example, we're constantly tripping over English names from this period--Fairfax, Clarendon, Arlington, Stafford, etc. And many of the concepts raised in initiatives like the Great Remonstration against Charles I are recognizible in our own Declaration of Independence and Constitution. As an American who has had very little exposure to this history, I found it invaluable.