Sunday, November 10, 2013
Sunday Salon: Reading Our Island Story
Our Island Story blends fact and fiction. It is technically a history book, an introduction to British history. But included in this "history" book are legends and myths. Marshall definitely attributes motives to various historical figures and makes definite judgments. It is a subjective history book with an emphasis on story and personality. It isn't exactly scholarly and accu-rat. (In fact there were a few chapters here and there where I was singing right along with "It's Not True.") But it is almost thoroughly enjoyable all the way through. True, I didn't always agree with her conclusions, and she was very reliant on Shakespeare's history plays perhaps. But. Still I think this one offers an enjoyable overview of a large period of history--over a thousand years! It covers Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Normans, and all the rest! Every monarch gets covered, some more than others. So even if you find yourself disagreeing with a fact or two in a couple of stories, chances are you'll find something to appreciate at least! The narrative style is "for children" in that it is simplified and written in a traditional story style. It is a tame presentation of history in a way. If you're familiar with some of the monarchs, you'll understand why that might be needed!
The edition I read went through World War I and discussed the founding of the League of Nations. I cannot find a date for a subsequent edition or reprinting.
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews