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The History of England

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  117 Ratings  ·  9 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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Rozzer
Jun 08, 2012 Rozzer rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 14, 2014 Michael Wheatley rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Simon
Mar 14, 2014 Simon rated it it was ok
This is a history written with a political motive. It seeks to apotheosise the Protestant Ascendency.
Douglas Baskett
Jun 25, 2013 Douglas Baskett rated it did not like it
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
Bryan
Jun 24, 2013 Bryan rated it really liked it
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
Nov 03, 2013 Richard Epstein rated it it was amazing
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.
Toby
Oct 29, 2015 Toby rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
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!
Andrea Zuvich
Mar 27, 2014 Andrea Zuvich rated it really liked it
Ah, Macaulay...4/5 because although it is very interesting and useful, it is so heavily biased!
Simon
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
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