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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors

The History of England (Volume 1)

Peter Ackroyd

St. Martin's Griffin


"An extraordinary book . . . Peter Ackroyd is arguably the most talented and prolific writer working in Britain today." —Daily Express (UK)

In Foundation, acclaimed historian Peter Ackroyd tells the epic story of England itself. He 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 describes 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 they wore, the food they ate, even the jokes they told. All are brought to life in this history of England through the narrative mastery of one of Britain's finest writers.

Chapter 16: Crime and punishment

A ‘scotale' or drinking party took place at Ashley, near Cirencester, on 7 September 1208; it was in honour of the birthday of Our Lady, and the local officer of the forest sold drinks at his alehouse...

Praise for Foundation

“Ackroyd's trademark insight and wit, and the glorious interconnectedness of all things, permeate each page.” —The Observer (UK)

“Ackroyd brings delightful but revealing details of the lives of the people from the past into the present.” —Sunday Express (UK)

“With Foundation, Ackroyd makes a compelling case to be the country's next great chronicler.” —Time Out (London)

“Given his eye for detail and the near-mythic writing in books like Thames: Sacred River, [Foundation]--not surprisingly, a huge best seller in England--promises to be an original read.” —Library Journal

“The hugely popular Ackroyd's ease of erudition ought not to be missed.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Once again, Ackroyd exhibits his magic touch with the written word, this time with the first in a six-volume history of England.” —Kirkus Reviews

“An extraordinary book...Peter Ackroyd is arguably the most talented and prolific writer working in Britain today.” —Daily Express (UK)

“Ackroyd paints a portrait of early England that is both historically rich and compellingly human.” —Shelf Awareness

“[Ackroyd] is a natural storyteller and a passionate historian, but his true skill lies in his acute eye for revealing interesting details.” —San Francisco Book Review


In the Press

Peter Ackroyd looks at England's long, tumultuous formative period. - The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

Peter Ackroyd

PETER ACKROYD is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet, and historian. He is the author of the acclaimed Thames: Sacred River and London: The Biography. He holds a CBE for services to literature and lives in London.

image of Peter Ackroydo
Charles Hopkinson

Peter Ackroyd

St. Martin's Griffin

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