The History of England

 Having written enthralling biographies of London and of its great river, the Thames, acclaimed author Peter Ackroyd now turns to England itself in a landmark six-part history. Ackroyd is a cornerstone of Britain’s literary landscape, with acclaimed novels, retellings of Chaucer and Mallory and other major works of non-fiction. This series, beginning with Stonehenge and ending with the twentieth century, is something he's been waiting to write all his life. It is history with the emphasis on story, a real pleasure to read, full of riveting details.  A renowned author’s most ambitious project in a long and successful career that has been anything but unambitious. 

 

BOOKS IN THIS
SERIES

Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution
Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution
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Peter Ackroyd has been praised as one of the greatest living chroniclers of Britain and its people. In Rebellion, he continues his dazzling account of the history of England, beginning the progress south of the Scottish king, James VI, who on the death of Elizabeth I became the first Stuart king of England, and ending with the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson, James II.

The Stuart monarchy brought together the two nations of England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm still marked by political divisions that echo to this day. More importantly, perhaps, the Stuart era was marked by the cruel depredations of civil war, and the killing of a king. Shrewd and opinionated, James I was eloquent on matters as diverse as theology, witchcraft, and the abuses of tobacco, but his attitude to the English parliament sowed the seeds of the division that would split the country during the reign of his hapless heir, Charles I. Ackroyd offers a brilliant, warts-and-all portrayal of Charles’s nemesis, Oliver Cromwell, Parliament’s great military leader and England’s only dictator, who began his career as a political liberator but ended it as much of a despot as "that man of blood," the king he executed.

England’s turbulent seventeenth century is vividly laid out before us, but so too is the cultural and social life of the period, notable for its extraordinarily rich literature, including Shakespeare’s late masterpieces, Jacobean tragedy, the poetry of John Donne and Milton and Thomas Hobbes’s great philosophical treatise, Leviathan. Rebellion also gives us a very real sense of the lives of ordinary English men and women, lived out against a backdrop of constant disruption and uncertainty.
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The History of England (Volume 3)

Peter Ackroyd

St. Martin's Press

Peter Ackroyd has been praised as one of the greatest living chroniclers of Britain and its people. In Rebellion, he continues his dazzling account of the history of England,...

Available 10/21/2014

Pre-Order
Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I
Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I
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From Henry VIII's cataclysmic break with Rome to the epic rule of Elizabeth I, the age of the Tudors comes to vivid life on the page


Rich in detail and atmosphere, Peter Ackroyd's Tudors is the story of Henry VIII's relentless pursuit of both the perfect wife and the perfect heir; of how the brief reign of the teenage king, Edward VI, gave way to the violent reimposition of Catholicism and the stench of bonfires under "Bloody Mary."  It tells, too, of the long reign of Elizabeth I, which, though marked by civil strife, plots against the queen and even an invasion force, finally brought stability.

Above all, however, it is the story of the English Reformation and the making of the Anglican Church. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, England was still largely feudal and looked to Rome for direction; at its end, it was a country where good governance was the duty of the state, not the church, and where men and women began to look to themselves for answers rather than to those who ruled them.


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The History of England (Volume 2)

Peter Ackroyd

St. Martin's Press

From Henry VIII's cataclysmic break with Rome to the epic rule of Elizabeth I, the age of the Tudors comes to vivid life on the pageRich in detail and atmosphere, Peter Ackroyd's...

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Foundation
Foundation
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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—and 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 through the narrative mastery of one of Britain’s finest writers.


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The History of England (Volume 1)

Peter Ackroyd

St. Martin's Press

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...

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