How Great Britain was born - from the restoration to the Great Exhibition.
In 1660 England emerged from the devastations of the Civil Wars and restored the king, Charles II, to the throne. Over the next 190 years Britain would establish itself as the leading nation in the world - the centre of burgeoning Empire, at the forefront of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. However, radical change also brought with it anxiety and violence. America is lost in the War of Independence and calls for revolution at home are never far from the surface of everyday life. In this scintillating overview of the era in which Britain changed the world, and how that nation was transformed as a result, William Gibson also looks at the impact this transformation had upon the ordinary men and women.
This is the third book in the four-volume Brief History of Britain which brings together some of the leading historians to tell our nation’s story from the Norman Conquest of 1066 to the present day. Combining the latest research with accessible and entertaining storytelling, it is the ideal introduction for students and general readers.
Gibson's fiction is fantastic and his relation of economic conditions to the modern reader are good (for instance relating the rail building boom and busy to the recent .com bubble) but he applies a pretty significant modern liberal bias to the activities of the people of that era which doesn't belong in a history.
His style is easy to follow and the narrator is very easy to listen to.
Overall I found the experience of the book good.
Disappointing. Completely lacking in deeper reflection. Just a long litany of unconnected facts. Sad! I had to return it.
It listens wonderfully, picks interesting sources and is thought provoking.
What lifts this above many other good history books is the vast amount of information, all of which is interesting.
Historic dates are fair enough but every time a name is mentioned, no matter how fleeting or how obscure their Birth and death date gets read out. Really got in the way of the narrative.
Not as good as the previous volume because of it.
What did you like best about A Brief History of Britain 1660 - 1851? What did you like least?
Too much irrelevant detail (minor characters, birth and death dates where not pertinent to the story, chatty asides, etc) and too little synthesis or insight. Weak on the important cultural and literary events of the period, and, more importantly, one also misses analysis of major policies, foreign policy and the like. It is as though the author has trouble distinguishing what would be useful in a short introduction from what would not.
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