The History of England From Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors

Book - 2012
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Peter Ackroyd, whose work has always been underpinned by a profound interest in and understanding of England's history, now tells the epic story of England itself.

In Foundation, the chronicler of London and of its river, the Thames, takes us from the primeval forests of England's prehistory to the death, in 1509, of the first Tudor king, Henry VII. He guides us from the building of Stonehenge to the founding of the two great glories of medieval England: common law and the cathedrals. He shows us glimpses of the country's most distant past--a Neolithic stirrup found in a grave, a Roman fort, a Saxon tomb, a medieval manor house--and describes in rich prose the successive waves of invaders who made England English, despite being themselves Roman, Viking, Saxon, or Norman French.

With his extraordinary skill for evoking time and place and his acute eye for the telling detail, Ackroyd recounts the story of warring kings, of civil strife, and foreign wars. But he also gives us a vivid sense of how England's early people lived: the homes they built, the clothes the wore, the food they ate, even the jokes they told. All are brought vividly to life in this history of England through the narrative mastery of one of Britain's finest writers.

Publisher: New York City, New York : St. Martin's Press, 2012.
Copyright Date: ©2011.
ISBN: 9781250003614
Characteristics: ix, 486 pages :,colour illustrations, photographs ;,25 cm.


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Jan 20, 2015

Absorbing view of England's "foundations" with a focus on the emergence of public leadership, particularly the monarchy. Plenty of glimpses of everyday life at the peasant level. Ackroyd conveys facts and best of all, shares what he thinks. What I took away from this book is how crooked and greedy leadership can be, and has been, and in some ways is becoming again. The American aversion to government waste, excessive taxes and self-serving leadership probably stems from our English beginnings.

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