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The History of England

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  118 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) won instantaneous and outstanding success in prose poetry, in politics and oratory. His History, translated throughout Europe and achieving sales in America second only to the Bible, immediately became the canon of historical orthodoxy, replacing previous histories so completely that it is now difficult to see past its long and apparen ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published April 26th 1979 by Penguin Classics (first published 1848)
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I majored in Early Modern European History. Not only majored, but never in college took any unrequired course other than history. History automatically stuck in my mind and memory. Which produced a perfect score on the history GRE in 1967. I constantly read history before college, during college, and after college. I am and always have been a big, big fan of 19th Century narrative history. The kind of history that by the force and elegance of its writing picks you up and sweeps you along with th ...more
Michael Wheatley
A great read. Macaulay writes the history of the Glorious Revolution in an engaging manner. I learned a great deal about the protestant/Church of England/Catholic tension in England as well as the Whigs and Tories.

It's an epic story of the removal of James II and the installation of William and Mary. Followed by James's attempts to regain what he lost.

The book touches on events in the history of England, Scotland, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Spain, America (there's a mention of Joseph Sm
There's nobody like Macaulay. When you disagree with him, he's maddening, but when you agree with him--and for me, that's most of the time--he's awesome.
Take particular note of the section where he discusses Restoration comedy. His commentary still applies to any trashy so-called, " comedy" that protects rather than attacks human vices. Awesome stuff.
He's a bit fonder of William III than I am, but pretty much has it figured out on the Puritans and Charles I, and he's great with Marlborough.
He is monumentally biased and helpfully skates over the worst aspects of William III's reign (Glencoe? Nuffing to do with me, guv!) but he writes with a verve and certainty that is rarely seen in history writing today - and probably rightly so!
This is a history written with a political motive. It seeks to apotheosise the Protestant Ascendency.
Douglas Baskett
This book has many faults, among them the author's shallow knowledge of some topics and his overt nationalism, but, perhaps most important, its greatest fault comes from the author's tendentious perspective to see all historical events as leading inexorably to the grandeur that was the England of his day. The prose is pleasantly stylistic and sometimes lively, but, as history, it is best read as an object lesson in the perils of the lack of objectivity. It should not be read as a trustworthy or ...more
This (at least the abridged one-volume edition I read) is not a history of England, only a history of James II and William III over a period of a few decades from the 1680s to early 1700s, written in the 1850s. It has an anti-Tory, anti-anybody-who-isn't-Church-of-England political perspective and the editor in a lot of places put in footnotes which essentially say "Everything Macaulay just wrote there is factually bullshit" in a polite way, which I think is pretty amusing. Beautifully written t ...more
Richard Epstein
This is one of the 4 greatest histories; but do not read it in an abridged version. Find a used bookstore (or go online) and splurge on the whole thing. I suspect sets are a glut on the market, and you can get one for pennies. Read it. Not only will you be edified and entertained, the effect on your prose will be salutary.
Andrea Zuvich
Ah, Macaulay...4/5 because although it is very interesting and useful, it is so heavily biased!
Pamela B
Macaulay's a dramatic and entertaining writer. Some of the details of English history are more than I can assimilate, but it's worth a read.
Dec 29, 2014 Simon marked it as to-read
Shelves: history
Read up to p. 412
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Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay PC (25 October 1800 – 28 December 1859) was a British poet, historian and Whig politician. He wrote extensively as an essayist and reviewer, and on British history. He also held political office as Secretary at War between 1839 and 1841 and Paymaster-General between 1846 and 1848.

As a young man he composed the ballads Ivry and The Armada, which he late
More about Thomas Babington Macaulay...
Lays of Ancient Rome The History of England From the Accession of James II - Volume One The History of England from the Accession of James II, Vol. II (in Five Volumes) Critical and Historical Essays, Vol 1 of 2 The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, Vol. III

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