Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The History of England” as Want to Read:
The History of England
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The History of England

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,089 ratings  ·  119 reviews
“The History of England” is a 1791 novel by English author Jane Austen. Written when she was just fifteen years old (it includes her original spelling quirks), it is a humorous burlesque on the popular history books contemporarily used in school. Within it, Austen comically mimics the style of writing characteristic of these books, mocking the dubious objectivity of the hi ...more
Kindle Edition
Published September 11th 2018 by White Press (first published November 26th 1791)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The History of England, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The History of England

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,089 ratings  ·  119 reviews

Sort order
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bwahahaha. What a delightful little read. Jane Austen proves that she was a woman with a great sense of humour.
The book contains a quick run-down of Henry the 4th, 5th and 6th; Edward the 4th and 5th; Richard the 3rd; Henry the 7th and 8th; Edward the 6th; Mary (yes, Bloody Mary) and Elizabeth; James the 1st; and, finally, Charles the 1st.
Although I expected it to be fun, I was actually surprised just HOW funny Jane Austen was when writing about these historical figures. Her dry wit that I so t
Katie Lumsden
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
Not a great history perhaps, but certainly a great piece of wit.
3 1/2 ☆
Jane Austen laughs at the ignorant, prejudiced women of her time. Women were educated to accomplished, to have general information. But they were not so educated to be informed. What would be the purpose of this education? So as not to have completely unaware wives and mothers? I think some of it maybe philosophical. The science of the day was often called "natural philsophy." I just don't know. The middle class was increasingly literate. This is the beginning place of women's education.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this quaint little book for the Jane Austen Centre in Bath and I'm so glad I did. It is a wonderful little book at just made me burst out laughing at several intervals because of Austen's well known sarcasm which, at the tender age of 15, was already fully formed. I can see it being my go-to book when I need a little pick me up. It's reiterated Jane Austen as one of my favourite authors.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas-2018
Isn’t Jane Austen great? This was such fun!
Jane Austen’s wit and sparklingly no-nonsense writing style is absolutely unrivalled: when you read one of her books, not only do you enjoy the writing but you enjoy her personality!
Regardless of how true the facts in this book are, I trust Jane totally and therefore feel inclined to agree with EVERYTHING she says. Plus, this is the most entertaining (if unreliable) history book you will ever find!

Who knew Jane was so vehement against the Tudors? In pa
A book of two separate parts - published as a Penguin 60s Classic.

The first part - which gives the book its title - is an irreverent and amusing summary of the line of succession of the English Throne from Henry the 4th (who took power in 1399) through to Charles 1st (who reined from 1625 to 1649 when he was executed). More than anything it serves to remind us what a boring period we have lived in, with regard to the British Monarchy - with the current Queen in occupation over 63 years. Austen's
 Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ
I enjoyed Ms. Austen's take on the kings & queens of England. This short history is written as a commentary that included her contempt of some, ambivalence towards others, and the upmost respect for a few. Loved how she claims her ignorance, lack of interest, and her own biases in her writing. Overall, an enjoyable book especially as many illustrations of her longhand version were included.
Mar 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"By a partial, prejudiced, and ignorant historian," Jane Austen's wit comes through in her comical take on Britain's monarchs. She wrote this at sixteen. For me the highlight of the book is when she gets to the Tudor monarchs, including, "that pest of society," Elizabeth.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would have been much more delightful if I was well-schooled in my British history (sadly, I am not).
Mary Catelli
One of her juvenilia. As usual, extremely funny and light-hearted. She had satire down pat early.
Susanna Olson
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have a confession:
I am a teenage girl. I am a christian teenage girl. I am a christian teenage girl who loves literature.
I've never really liked Jane Austen Novels.


Don't kill me.

At least let me explain first.

Her work has much merit - I admit, but I never really understood the hype. Her stories can be interesting, her characters solid (Mr. Knightley = YES!) and her writing good - no doubt. However, I find her prose a bit stuffy and the attention to needless details annoying. [ i.e. the
Oct 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A history of England from 1399 to 1649, written by a 16-year-old Jane Austen who had her tongue firmly in cheek.

Declaring herself a “partial, prejudiced, & ignorant Historian” on page one, she proceeds to mangle and muddle all the historical facts she can think of in a delightfully droll parody of every dry history textbook you have ever read. Henry IV, we are told, ascended to the throne “after having prevailed on his cousin & predecessor Richard the 2d to resign it to him, & to ret
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jane Austen Fans
This delightful bit of juvenilia, written when Jane Austen was sixteen years old, is a hilarious and highly individual history of the English monarchy, from 1399 to 1649. Described by its author as being written "By a partial, prejudiced & ignorant Historian (Note: There will be very few Dates in this History)," this book more than lives up to its billing!

A facsimile of the original manuscript, with illustrations by Austen's sister, Cassandra, Jane Austen's The History of England, contains a
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I have been a Jane Austen fan since I first read Pride and Prejudice over 20 years ago. That's why I picked this book up. It's pretty obvious that this is something she wrote in her teens. It's fun, and I did enjoy it, but it's far from as good as her novels.
Lisa Brantly
It was diverting. smiled a couple of times.
Elliot A
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was hilarious and sort of ridiculous. I love Jane Austen’s wit and steadfast opinions. Another little treat I found in Bath, I can see how it delighted Austen’s family.
Dies ist ein schmales Bändchen aus dem Jugendwerk Jane Austens. Es ist keine Abhandlung englischer Geschichte als vielmehr eine jugendlich verspielte Abrechnung mit der Art und Weise wie Geschichte den jungen Damen jener Zeit gelehrt wurde... scheinbar ohne Reiz für Spekulation und klar von den Vorurteilen des Lehrers zu den historischen Personen geprägt.
Jane Austen nimmt dies, obwohl erst 16 Jahre alt, glasklar aufs Korn und mit gespitzter Feder bleibt nicht viel übrig von den glorreichen Herr
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: want-to-reread
If only History was really taught like this! If only I was as clever and sharp-witted as Jane! And (as I tweeted) how comforting it is to know that the 16-year-old Jane constantly spelled friend as 'Freind'.
You can just imagine the young Jane scribbling this HILARIOUS little thing in the corner of the parlour and reading out each new monarch to a giggling Cassandra. She really is too funny!
Fifteen pages of Austen giving a perfectly delightful, completely unhistorical, and inaccurate portrait of thirteen British monarchs. By the age of sixteen she was already far wittier than I can ever hope to be.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Ik wist al van Northanger Abbey dat Jane Austen een grappige madam was, maar dit boekje topt dat helemaal. Heerlijk absurde geschiedenis, straf dat ze dit al op vijftienjarige leeftijd schreef!
laugh out loud
Dani Jade
The history of England - from Henry IV to Charles I - as told by Jane Austen. By far the most amusing history book I have ever read.
Allison Dransfield
Super funny and witty. I think I would appreciate it more if I had a better understanding of the history of england. I much enjoyed her remarks on the tudor's though.
Deborah Ademola
Light, witty, and downright outrageously funny. Austen's talent for wit was clearly developed young and produced some fantastic lines far before her classic, published novels. Lesley Castle also had me trying not to laugh out loud on the bus home from work today. A must-read for all Austen fans.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I suppose you know all about the Wars between him & The Duke of York who was of the right side; If you do not, you had better read some other History, for I shall not be very diffuse in this, meaning by it only to vent my Spleen against, & shew my Hatred to all those whose parties or principles do not suit with mine, & not to give information."

Jane Austen was almost sixteen when she wrote "The History of England by a partial, prejudiced & ignorant Historian", an incredibly humor
Edward Medina
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As for a true account of England this one may not be one of those. Yet it does provide us with some Historical content in a comical manner.

This is a great read that would take you perhaps 20 minutes at the most taking you from Henry the 4th to Charles the 1st and as Austen herself writes "by a partial, prejudiced, and ignorant Historian".

Great fun it has wonderful language and she's got very comical lines. For example of Edward the 5th we get the following

"This unfortunate prince lived so litt
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
" had better read some other History, for I shall not be very diffuse in this, meaning by it only to vent my Spleen against, & shew my Hatred to all those people whose parties or principles do not suit with mine, & not to give information."

Well, that's the first time it's taken about ten minutes for me to read anything by Jane Austen.

I'm very interested in English history unlike Miss Austen, as I take it from her clearly annoyed yet teasing tone. Therefore, this fifteen-page work
J. Alfred
From what I gather, every female on earth is, by default, in love with Austen's Mr Darcy. That's kind of how I feel about Austen herself. She is modest, supurbly talented, and as witty as Beatrice from Shakespeare. This little volume (stress "little", the text is only about ten pages long) is confusing to someone who knows excactly no real history, but still delightful. Apparently she wrote it when she was fifteen. (Swoon)
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2009
In all honesty, I wondered if this would better be classified as fiction. When she was 16, Jane Austen wrote this sketchy and hilarious history (with "very few dates"), poking sarcastic fun at some of the British rulers and defending others. Not good for real history, but a lot of fun for a laugh. It would be easier to understand if one already had a working knowledge of British royalty.
Rick Davis
Not one of Jane Austen's great works. However, I have to say that I've never read another mock-history book about English monarchs written by a 16-year-old girl to match it. It is delightfully bizarre and inconsistent, and as a reader you'll try in vain to figure out what Jane Austen really believes in all of it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Jane Austen's World: The Life and Times of England's Most Popular Author
  • A Dance with Jane Austen: How a Novelist and Her Characters Went to the Ball
  • Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels
  • Jane Austen For Dummies
  • The Jane Austen Cookbook
  • So You Think You Know Jane Austen?
  • Jane Austen: Her Life
  • Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury
  • The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen
  • The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World
  • A Memoir of Jane Austen
  • What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist—the Facts of Daily Life in 19th-Century England
  • Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters: A Family Record
  • A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen
  • Searching for Jane Austen
  • The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things
  • Tea with Jane Austen
  • Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World
Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry
“Lady Jane Gray, who tho' inferior to her lovely Cousin the Queen of Scots, was yet an amiable young woman & famous for reading Greek while other people were hunting....Whether she really understood that language or whether such a study proceeded only from an excess of vanity for which I beleive she was always rather remarkable, is uncertain.” 6 likes
More quotes…