The Early Churchills
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The Early Churchills

3.0 of 5 stars 3.00  ·  rating details  ·  7 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Published by Not Avail (first published January 1st 1956)
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Kate Millin
This book tells the story of the Churchill family who lived during the Cromwellian period right through to the first hanover king George I. The main part of the story is about John Churchill who became the Duke of Marlborough as a reward for his excellent work winning wars for the country especially against the French ar the battle of Blenheim during Queen Anne's reign.

I have always remembered being told that A L Rowse was a significant historian however I found the tone of his writing quite mi...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in May 1998.

A.L. Rowse attempted to do something slightly different with this book; not a biography of an individual, which often ignores much of their family background, nor a genealogical record of the family history, which often ignores much of the character of the members of the family. The family chosen for this is that of the early Churchills (i.e. up until the point where the Marlborough title passed through the female line to the Spencers who took the...more
Now mostly worth reading as an example of the kinds of things which could be published as historical writing in the mid 1950s in the UK without anyone batting an eyelid—though the blatant and unapologetic misogyny certainly made both my eyebrows rush towards my hairline. For example, this:

But she [Barbara, Lady Castlemaine] never put herself out to make the King [Charles II] easy; indeed, after she found out that ease was what he valued most, she made him purchase it at a constantly heightened p
My children hated studying history. To understand why, you need look no further than the textbooks the California public school system used to teach them history. I would always try to explain to them, "Thing is the people who lived then are exactly like the people who live now. We just have better technology."

I was reminded of that while I read this book. It's only a good read for people who are slightly obsessive about little known parts of English history, but -- ahem! -- that would be me.
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Alfred Leslie Rowse, CH FBA, known professionally as A. L. Rowse and to his friends and family as Leslie, was a prolific Cornish historian. He is perhaps best known for his poetry about Cornwall and his work on Elizabethan England. He was also a Shakespearean scholar and biographer. He developed a widespread reputation for irascibility and intellectual arrogance.

One of Rowse's great enthusiasms wa...more
More about A.L. Rowse...
William Shakespeare: A Biography Homosexuals in History Bosworth Field and the Wars of the Roses The Elizabethan Renaissance: The Life of the Society A Cornish Childhood: Autobiography of a Cornishman

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