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A Child's History of England
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A Child's History of England

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  275 ratings  ·  42 reviews
If you look at a Map of the World, you will see, in the left-hand upper corner of the Eastern Hemisphere, two Islands lying in the sea. They are England and Scotland, and Ireland. England and Scotland form the greater part of these Islands. Ireland is the next in size. The little neighbouring islands, which are so small upon the Map as to be mere dots, are chiefly little b ...more
Paperback, 404 pages
Published September 6th 2007 by Book Jungle (first published 1854)
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Alan
I'd like to meet the child that this is written for--the young William Thackeray? The young William James? The young Trevelyan, most likely. Or Macaulay. I have read in English history for decades, but especially social history--the Canons of 1604 and how they enlighten a reading of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, or Judge Henry Swinburne's Spousals. And I must say, Dickens' account is intricate and intriguing. Like the novelist he is, he imbues the kings and their favorites with character an ...more
Julia
I found this book to be thoroughly fascinating! Dickens takes us from the early beginnings of England all the way up to his era, monarchy by monarchy. I doubt if many parents of our day would hand this book to their children; it is full of the violence, hatred, and vengeance of kings against their rivals, fathers against sons, brothers against brothers, uncles against nephews, Catholics against Protestants, neighboring regions against each other, and one thing I learned is that I never would wan ...more
Martha
Oct 26, 2010 Martha is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
While this book was written for children of Dickens' time, no one under High School age should attempt this book, and have a dictionary close at hand. I found that Dickens was very ethnocentrist in favor of the Saxons, something that I would not have supposed before reading this. This is included in The Complete Charles Dickens Collection on my Kindle.
K.
Review of A Child’s History of England by Charles Dickens

My actual edition of this book is part of “The Works of Charles Dickens, with Illustrations, Cleartype Edition, Books, Inc; 1868 (date is questionable)”…I hestitated to turn down corners, but did one or two.
If only history could always be this fun. Oh me, what do you get when you add Charles Dickens + English history? Truly, a history for the people, sir! In more ways than one!

How so, you ask?

1) Totally readable. Written for children. Tr
...more
Becky
What a treat to discover Charles Dickens' A Child's History of England. I enjoyed Dickens style. I liked the action and characterization. It was also rich in description. Here's the first sentence,
"In the old days, a long, long while ago, before Our Saviour was born on earth and lay asleep in a manger, these Islands were in the same place, and the stormy sea roared round them, just as it roars now. But the sea was not alive, then, with great ships and brave sailors, sailing to and from all parts
...more
Dhsparkman
Dickens is usually known as a novelist, but you can forget that here. The book is exactly what it purports to be, except that it has Charles Dickens as the author! True, at times he seems to actually write for a child in this book, but those times are relatively few.
Dickens actually does the whole of English history, right up to 1688, where he ended this tome, before it touched too many people in high places in the wrong places. He writes as a patriotic, yet critical Englishman, and retains al
...more
Thom Swennes
One of Charles Dickens’ historical works is A Child’s History of England. This is a work where fact, myth and legend are braided into a reasonably understandable history of England. Anyone that has read of medieval kings, wars and betrayals can well imagine the difficulty in relaying that history in a sensible, comprehensive manner. The task of making the long forgotten history interesting enough to hold the attention of a child is indeed a hard one. Dickens does this reasonably well. He doesn’t ...more
Lisa
Finished at last! I read this book on and off for the past year +. There were some turgid bits, but I did enjoy it when Dickens sounded off on various things, such as:

Dickens on King Henry the 8th - "The plain truth is, that he was a most intolerable ruffian, a disgrace to human nature, and a blot of blood and grease upon the History of England."

Dickens on the execution of Lady Jane Grey (ordered by "Bloody" Queen Mary Tudor) - "You know too well, now, what dreadful deeds the executioner did in
...more
Katheryn Thompson
Interesting, especially if you have a fascination with a specific era of history (or monarch, which is what the book mostly focuses on). It isn't, however, a historical book in that sense; it has an overt bias (presumably intentional, because it is from the viewpoint of a character), doesn't go into specifics, and doesn't use sources. This frustrated the historian in me at times, but is perfect for an overview or a light read as - in fairness - it is largely accurate.
Carl
I was on the airplane returning from Iceland when I started this. I realized that a "child's" knowledge of English history is more than I have, so this has not been familiar ground to me. Dickens empathy for the lower classes comes through again and again. The book undoubtedly has more descriptions of beheadings than any other "children's" book ever written.

If you don't feel like reading one of the long novels but are in the mood for some CD, then I'd recommend this book. Highly opinionated, no
...more
Tom
This was a fasinating book starting with William the Conquerer to William and Mary. Most people know of the many Rulers of England, but this is a truly expose of not only how they got into power but how they either remained in power or were overthrown.

You can keep a count of the number of persons hanged, beheaded, boiled aliver, drawn and quartered or disposed of by other means. This is not to mention the thousands of English, Scotch, Welsh, French, and Irishmen who killed ei9ther in battle or a
...more
Drayton Alan
As an american this was a good primer to English history. I enjoyed it.
Melodee
Dickens' history of England is appealing on so many levels. Although it is ostensibly written for children, it is quite engaging enough for adults, and not at all simplistic. Dickens does obviously have to give a pretty condensed version, but the reader is left with a pretty accurate idea of what the people and times were like. The only thing I didn't like is that he crammed about 6 monarchs into two pages at the end. I don't know if he thought it was getting too long, or just got tired of writi ...more
Patty Simpson
Lots of bias and opinions, which is entertaining; too many earls and dukes and too much detail about small plots, which is not entertaining. I think it may have been the basis of my grade 7 social studies class, actually.
Marietta
Not only does this book give an interesting overview of the history of England and its kings and queens, but it also shows what Dickens felt toward certain monarchs and certain events during this history. Using excellent wording and his satirical humour, Dickens criticises despotical monarchs like Charles I, Charles II, James II, etc. The historical facts in the book seem rather reliable, but considering how old this book is, I wouldn't go to it for a history lesson.
Mwrogers
I love Dickens and I love England, so I hoped this would be a perfect match. Not so much. Or maybe I just became weary from all the drawing and quartering and hanging and burning.... The Brits took several centuries to become so refined!
Adam Griffith
This was more about the monarchs of England than anything else, but it was very entertaining as I love learning about royalty.
Doris Cordellia
I have found this book of Charles Dickens quite interested to read when I wanted to know about England's history. Some more I love the way he wrote his book and all his books. I must try to finish my reading which I have started it since September last year but then postponed for while.....
Nicole G.
Very long and a bit dense, but no less readable for all that. Dickens takes one through the monarchs of England, up to Queen Victoria. Some of the reigns were quite bloody, and for a child to read, is rather shocking. Some of the kings were hard to differentiate, but I still thought it was rather good, especially with the Dickensian flair and commentary.
Jules Philip Hernando
A surprise find. One of my favorite english authors writes about the history of his country. How I hope one of my country's eminent authors would do something similar. Dickens from the point of view of Victorian Era judges historical figures, mostly the kings, leaders, and statesmen of England.
Helen Azar
When I first came across this book I had no idea that Charles Dickens published a history of England book. I was very excited because I love the history of England, so needless to say I purchased this book immediately. Not a first edition (I wish!) but still old enough to have the onion paper!
Kevin
A fantastic book for those interested in English History. A great introduction to the Kings and Queens of England. This history included battles and legends as well as stories of the reformation and religious intolerance. It took me four months to finish, but was well worth the effort.
Timothy
This is a great book if you are interested in learning about the history of England. It is a thorough history of the county from the Romans, to Queen Victoria who came to the throne in 1837. This book is written in a very understandable way. I recommend this to anyone who loves worl history.
Keith
This is a wonderful and enlightening telling of the History of England that goes back thousands of years to the Danes. I thought I would read this book and learn about Englands beginnings before I submerge myself in watching all the seasons of The Tudors.
Patrick
God am I bored... Dickens attempts a romantic interpretation of pre-medievel to contemporary- crap! I picked up this book because it is one of the last books of Dicken's I haven't actually read. Maybe I should read Nicholas Nickelby again...
laurenpie
Fascinating history by a superb author

Wow! This is many levels above the boring and watered-down history I studied in school as a child! A highly engaging, multi-layered read with some depth to it.
Alexis
Nov 03, 2008 Alexis rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who needs a nap.
If you want to take a nap and have trouble sleeping, read this book. It is guranteed to help you get to sleep.
Seriously, I love a good history book, but I just had the hardest time. It was dry and boring.
Renee
England's history at a break-neck pace. Dickens has no qualms about interjecting his opinion of the character of England's major players. His voice makes a rather dry recounting a bit more palatable.
Don
Nice knock-about history full of anecdotes generally aimed at showing that Kings and Queens should be taken with a pinch of salt. Good background to understanding Dicken's political views.
Brad
Definitely not just for children, as it filled in a lot of blanks for me, especially the details per reigning monarch and the prevailing politics per era.
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239579
A prolific 19th Century author of short stories, plays, novellas, novels, fiction and non-fiction; during his lifetime Dickens became known the world over for his remarkable characters, his mastery of prose in the telling of their lives, and his depictions of the social classes, morals and values of his times. Some considered him the spokesman for the poor, for he definitely brought much awarenes ...more
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