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Robert Lacey
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Great Tales from English History (3): Captain Cook, Samuel Johnson, Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, Edward the Abdicator, and More

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  262 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
History at its best--the great stories of England's modern age, distilled in Robert Lacey's inimitable style. From William and Mary to Watson and Crick, Robert Lacey's newest volume offers up the most delightful and intriguing English tales of the last few centuries. Royal families and renowned scientists, highwaymen and war heroes--the most colorful characters of modern E ...more
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Published December 1st 2006 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2004)
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Al Tarancón
From my blog original entry...

Ahora mismo me estoy leyendo tres libros, a ratos. El primero es Great Tales of English History de Robert Lacey. El libro cuenta de manera cronologica momentos curiosos o interesantes de la historia de los ingleses, narrandolos en cuatro o cinco paginas, y de manera muy amena. De este voy leyendo poco a poco, un capitulo o dos al dia. Este es el tercer libro, que cubre de 1690 a 1953, aunque servidor pretendia pillarse el segundo libro, que iba del 1100 al 1690, una
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Leslie
Jan 19, 2016 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs
These are bite-sized nuggets of fascinating insight into various people and events in English history including such topics as breast cancer surgery without anesthesia in 1810, a background on 'General Ned Lud' and what the Luddites were trying to achieve, poor King George III's then mysterious illness (porphyria) which he apparently inherited from Mary Queen of Scots, details about the reasons for the mutiny on the Bounty and Captain Bly's eventful life after that.

I have found it very worthwhi
...more
Pete Friend
Aug 29, 2014 Pete Friend rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought the first two were scintillating but I think this one tops the lot, I read the final 30 odd pages on my train ride from victoria to brighton and sat in the stationary train at the end wishing the journey was longer so i could finish. the level of detail is perfect, the choice of figures and anecdotes and information is brilliant. i've just order the 3 volumes in one so i can read again, but also hope the author brings out more volumes to go with it, or maybe another countries history. ...more
Oliver Hodson
Aug 03, 2014 Oliver Hodson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like it a lot and he manages to deal pretty successfully with choosing stories that are interesting- tales, indeed- as opposed to systematically telling a history. He definitely sketches both sides of the story and allows for exactly the kind of complexity historians like, and does so in a light way, not overbearing. I think that there could be lots of questions about other tales that could go in, but I didn't see too much barrow pushing, in fact it was almost frustrating trying to pin down la ...more
Sonia
Oct 04, 2015 Sonia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot recommend volumes 1-3 more highly. Robert Lacey masterfully weaves together illustrative stories in a way that gives the reader a compelling yet thorough view of English history. It's rare that I choose nonfiction but I couldn't put these books down.
Dale
Feb 17, 2012 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Entertaining Take on English History

Published in 2007 by W.F. Howes Ltd.
Read by the author, Robert Lacey
Duration: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Robert Lacey's quirky 3 volume collection Great Tales from English History was truly a joy to listen to. Volume III ran from the late 17th century to the 1990s and covered such topics as John Locke, The Boston Tea Party (a remarkably even-handed presentation of the American Revolution in general), King George III, the beginnings of the Methodist movement, the In
...more
Diane Heath
I enjoy history but even those who are not fans of history would enjoy this book. I will need to find volumes one and two at some point. This volume goes from the reign of William and Mary past WW II. Each "chapter" is a brief story revealing new aspects of English history
Erin
Aug 12, 2014 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Do not expect a comprehensive history of Britain. This book is exactly what it purports to be: small snapshots of British history from 1690 to 1953. It's good for whetting your appetite for more history. I disliked its Progressive bias, which became stronger in later chapters.
Chris
Jul 18, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This third volume held my interest---its short chapters (usually about 3 pages) contained interesting information about a range of historical figures; many of whom were new to me.

It started fast, but the recurrent style dragged about midway through. The writing held up well, but it was the repetitive nature of the chapters that slowed me down. They are written in a newspaper column style, and it's a style I really like, but it just got old after a while. I would have enjoyed this book much more
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David R.
In the last of three sets of "tales" Lacey shares incidents from English history since the Glorious Revolution. In this volume the stories tend to be more social than political in nature and vastly more oriented to "the people".
Allison
Maybe it was me reading the jacket incorrectly, but I expected this book to contain more unusual stories from English history. Instead, there were few I hadn't heard before and many that were presented exactly the same way as my tenth-grade text book. That said, I always found that text book to be rather interesting, so I enjoyed this reminder of the history I knew.

I did have to laugh at the inclusion of "The Boston Tea-Party," which I tend to think of as a great tale from American History. The
...more
Lucy
Mar 20, 2011 Lucy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of snippets from history. All interesting, each "tale" brings an era to life and does a better job than most histories of making the tale's characters recognizably human. Even the villains of English history, such as Richard III and Bloody Mary, are treated gently and made more understandable in the context of their times.

A lively and informative book, "Great Tales" is great to pick up now and then to encounter such disparate people as the Venerable Bede and Henry VIII,
...more
Tania P
Oct 21, 2014 Tania P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and it's spurred me on to read more about English history. A quick and interesting read.
Shiloah
An excellent series! I learned much, enjoyed the stories, and was captivated the entire time.
Caleb Poon
Apr 28, 2015 Caleb Poon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring tale telling with unpretentious honesty and British pride.
Jenalyn C
I was bored with most of the stories.
Mystie Winckler
MCL. audio.

Lacey is a good storyteller, and this is the period of history I know least about. The birth of modernity, a sad tale always packaged as progress, which must be good. At the outset of this period, Londoners actually chose disease and death over having the government regulate how they could dispose of their waste. Ah, how the mighty have fallen.
Ann
Feb 06, 2011 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of Britain. If I could go back to college I would major in British history. Lacy's book was very enjoyable. A quick look at myths and tales with straight facts and resources to back them up. I really enjoyed reading about the oringination of certain words and phrases.
Carolyn
May 27, 2009 Carolyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
I read the first two volumes before a trip to England, which made the trip and the books infinitely more interesting - and makes this third volume harder to finish (i.e. no trip). So I think I'll shelve it till we're ready for another hop across the pond.
Jenny
Oct 30, 2008 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Robert Lacey does it again! With stories from the madness of King George to Dr. Crippen to the discovery of DNA by Crick and Watson, Lacey's writing style brings well and little known stories from history to life.
Marilou
Aug 03, 2010 Marilou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The origin of the Union Jack and the Riot Act and more! All done up in brief and humorous tales. Painless English history in small enough bites to easily digest. That dose of humour sweetens the meal!
John
Sep 06, 2009 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, history
I don't recall having been as "impressed" with this volume as the previous ones, but it was an interesting way to pass time, and learn a few new highlights from modern English history.
David Vanness
Jun 30, 2012 David Vanness rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-have
As a history buff I found it very enjoyable. Some bits of which I was not really aware. Just wish I'd had volumns 1 & 2 to proceed my Border's close-out two dollar adventure.
Elvenjen
Nov 07, 2011 Elvenjen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Events and people in English history in nice, short, 4- or 5-page stories. I really like the format and his writing style is easy to read and understand.
Keri Daskam
Apr 25, 2011 Keri Daskam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-8
I enjoyed this 3 volume set more than any other history book I've read. My favorite was volume 2, but volume 3 (the Industrial Revolution) was a close second.
Abigail
Feb 02, 2011 Abigail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Great series. Very enjoyable history reading. Lacey presents stories and details you probably haven't heard before which keeps it interesting.
Fenixbird SandS
Dec 02, 2007 Fenixbird SandS marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to read
Shelves: history, wanna-buys
by Robert Lacey..author of THE KINGDOM The House of Sa'ud which I am currently reading..mulling over.. absorbing...enjoying!!
Adam Warack
Jul 25, 2013 Adam Warack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful light-reading book. Each story is 2-6 pages generally and is great for periodical reading.
Mary
Mar 06, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really easy to read, picking out important episodes in British history - a great introduction to the topic.
Cynthia Egbert
Jun 02, 2014 Cynthia Egbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the older stuff better, but this was still worth reading!
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Robert Lacey is a British historian noted for his original research, which gets him close to - and often living alongside - his subjects. He is the author of numerous international bestsellers.

After writing his first works of historical biography, Robert, Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Ralegh, Robert wrote Majesty, his pioneering biography of Queen Elizabeth II. Published in 1977, Majesty remains
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