Monday, September 30, 2013

Great Tales From English History (2003)

Great Tales from English History, vol. 1. Robert Lacey. 2003. Little, Brown. 272 pages. [Source: Library]

I loved, loved, loved this history book. From the start, I knew it was just the book for me.
'History' and 'story' derive from the same linguistic root, and if history can never escape its authorship, it should at least try to make the authorship readable and bright. (xiv)
But personality -- human nature -- is surely the essence of history, and I have deliberately made personalities the essence of this book. Brief though each chapter is, Great Tales seeks to create a coherent, chronological picture of our island story, while following the guiding principle that all men and women have heroism inside them -- along with generous and fascinating measures of incompetence, apathy, evil and lust. (xv)
This is the first of three volumes. This book concentrates on the dark ages (or early medieval if you prefer) and the first part of the middle ages. Only three stories are dated BEFORE the birth of Christ (AD). Highlights from this volume include:
  • Boadicea, Warrior Queen
  • Arthur, Once and Future King
  • Caedmon, The First English Poet
  • The Venerable Bede
  • Edward the Confessor
  • The Legend of Lady Godiva
  • The Domesday Book
  • The Mysterious Death of William Rufus
  • Stephen and Matilda
  • Murder in the Cathedral
  • Richard the Lionheart
  • John Lackland and Magna Carta
  • Simon de Montfort and His Talking-place
  • The Fair Maid of Kent and the Order of the Garter
  • The Great Mortality
Angles, Saxons, Celts, Romans, Vikings, Normans...all are to be found in this first volume. Reading this little book will give you a starting place to grasp the English rulers. (William the Conqueror to Richard II in this volume).

Each story is just a few pages long; it is all so reader-friendly! There is nothing dry and boring in this little volume!!!

Love Horrible Histories? Then these videos pair well with this little book.

Celtic Boast Battles
Saxon Invasion, Invasion, Invasion
Kidnapped and Kidnapped 2
Anglo-Saxons Ordeals
Monks Song
Viking Song "Literally"
Domesday Book
Death of William Rufus
English Rulers
Norman Family Tree Song
King John Online
Plague Song

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

hopeinbrazil said...

Sounds like a winner!