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British History for Dummies, Illustrated Hardback Edition
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British History for Dummies, Illustrated Hardback Edition

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  172 ratings  ·  28 reviews
History is always a popular subject and British history has created some of the most lively and fascinating stories there are Britain as we know it today has been shaped by centuries of political turmoil between state and church, as well as international conflicts, making its history a fascinating insight into how modern Britain has emerged.For this special, hardback editi...more
Hardcover, 492 pages
Published December 15th 2008 by For Dummies (first published January 7th 2003)
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Dan Bentley
Apr 16, 2007 Dan Bentley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anglophiles
There are times in history when one ought to be a fan of a certain publishing house. Scribner's Sons in the 20's. City Lights in the 50's. And now, For Dummies. Now, I'm sure that the For Dummies series prompts scorn and derision for some of their titles. I can only hope that Computers for Dummies reads something like this: "This is a mouse. You use it to do the obvious thing on your computer. When it breaks, you should do anything other than call your 'smart grandson' who does, in fact, have so...more
Troy Parfitt
Apart from a fondness for iron bridges, the belief that cricket is exciting, and the mistaken view that the Chinese have a curse which goes 'may you live in interesting times' (there is no such phrase in Chinese), this is a cracking good book. It's well written and, well, just really damned good. Very interesting, as least to me, a Canadian. I got a bit tired (and confused) about all the kings and queens, and wished for a little more "common" history, but, well, people like reading about kings a...more
Mel Russell
I know this is one of the For Dummies books, but it was so dumbed down and patronising that I didn't feel as though I learned anything. Far more so than other books in the series I have read.
Personally I didn't like all the use of slang and informalities, but I can see how that would appeal to teenagers.

I would seriously think twice before reading a For Dummies book as a refresher or for an introduction to a topic.
A quick, funny and easy read. Starts at the Ice Age and ends with Tony Blair. Just a quick brush up to help you identify which areas to explore in depth. Written in a talky, funny manner. For example a family tree of the Tudors shows the following for Mary, Queen of Scots husbands 2 and 3.... "2 Henry, Lord Darnley (horrible man, horribly murdered) 3 James, Lord Bothwell (who probably did it)
I decided that I didn't know enough about British history so I looked around for something to fill the gap. This is the one I chose, being familiar with the Dummies books from my early days fighting with computers and Microsoft Windows.

It starts with the Ice age and finishes with Tony Blair and just about covers everything in between. There is a bit of Welsh, Scottish and Irish history thrown in which is a bit of a relief, but probably not enough. It's the type of book that is supposed to be dip...more
I've lost my patience with this book. He makes offensive jokes to try to be fun and interesting, but I'm just offended and bored. I thought this would be a good book to give me a wide scope of British history, but I've got to try something else. His misunderstanding of the Boston Tea Party was the breaking point. What else did he lie to me about?

Ok, so now I finished. My opinion of it did not change.
Sound and playful. I liked it. :)

There's little chance I will remember much of the information because there really is much more history than I anticipated, and this is the abbreviated version!

But I love having a summary of British history as a reference so I can work off of it and find my own in-depth sources to fill in the gaps. This book mostly addresses English history, but it touches on EVERYONE else too(her neighbors plusChina, Russia, Iraq, France, Spain...), as England did. Highly recom...more
I love the For Dummies series because they give you a quick overview of a vast topic in language that is easy to understand and with a hint of humor. Unfortunately humor is a subjective thing. Reading some of these books straight through can go from mildly amusing to eye-rolling groaners at the end of practically every paragraph, making any further reading tedious. This book is NOT one of those books. The author doesn't abuse the humor, using it only sparingly, which makes it a very enjoyable re...more
This text is packed full of interesting information about the United Kingdom, and the surrounding countries and territories therein. If the reader where perhaps writing an essay, or research project on the aforementioned country, this would be a most beneficial book to indulge in. However, if the reader is only interested in this knowledge for historical purposes, I suggest something a little more in depth and professional.

What a brilliant concept this is. Who would have thought that books titled "For Dummies" would be such a hit? I needed a primer on British history in order to tackle Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. This was a great way to learn some quick history in a painless manner. There is a lot of humor and a warning when things are too technical. The Dummies books aren't a replacement for thorough study but they sure help a novice.
May 20, 2013 Cheryl marked it as skimmed-reference-dnf  ·  review of another edition
Aimed at someone with some understanding already, actually. The author admits so in his intro. I have none. I need to get the junior version of this!

However, so long as I had it checked out from the library, I took a look. I'm not sure I'd appreciate this if I were ready for it, as it seemed to focus more on being witty and palatable than on actually being informative.
This is a simplified version of British history, both monarchy and as the whole, and it really is quite interesting. Like with Ancient Rome, I knew a lot of backstory before picking this book up, but I did find out some things that I didn't know until reading this. It is fascinating, so ignore the title and give it a read if you're interested.
Laure Estep
Thousands of years of history in roughly 400 quick and easy pages. Clever, occasionally snarky, narration guides us through this breakneck tour through British history from the stone age through Tony Blair reign as PM in the nineties. It's a decent starter book to learn what it is you would like to explore further.
Christine Edwards
I picked up this book for some quick research on the 19th century for a book I'm writing myself. I got so involved I read the whole thing. I found I knew a lot of the information, but the humorous style of writing made connections for me that I hadn't thought of before.
Susan Beecher
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I had realized that my knowledge or British history was pathetic and reading several historical novels recently made this clear. I plan to do European History for Dummies next.
Good 'rough guide' to British History with some of the important dates, monarchs etc needed in history at school and, maybe, in a general knowledge quiz. Would recommend for those who want some detail, but not going too in depth.
That’s it. I am through with History for Dummies for a long, long time. It’s a wonderful book filled with fascinating facts, sidebars, and notes of interest, but sitting down and reading the entire book was too much for me.
I really enjoyed this book and learned a great deal on a subject that I thought I knew quite a bit about. I liked how this Author wrote and that it held my attention in an area where it could wander if not written well.
Polly Williams
Albeit Great Britain does have a rich history, I was disappointed that it did not have a list of monarchs and what years they reigned. Seems quite a bit missing on the whole but a good quick read for some basic British history.
I read until the Industrial Revolution chapter of the book only because I got bored. Although, that is not saying that the last chapters would be boring to everyone, I just get bored past the 18th century.
Chris Steeden
I took history O'Level in 1986 and this was the perfect book to brush up on some long forgotten history. Good to read in small chunks and the author delivers the facts with great humour.
A really funny and interesting look at British history. I like the author's style and I enjoyed learning about a subject that I should've known more about before. But now I do!
British History can be overwhelming (especially with all those kings and queens) but this book breaks it down into manageable pieces. It was an entertaining read.
very readable, comprehensive and thought provoking. Constant references to other chapters for more information was a bit annoying
Katie Shepherd
A nice reference, easy to read. It really helped me to understand British history a lot better.
laugh-out-loud funny, a riotous account of the people and events that shaped Britain
Bit light on the 20th century.
Jessica Bradley
Dec 06, 2007 Jessica Bradley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
It passed my comps for me
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