Great Tales from English History by Robert Lacey
(Book 2): Joan of Arc, the Princes in the Tower, Bloody Mary, Oliver Cromwell, Sir Isaac Newton, and More

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Synopsis

The greatest historians are vivid storytellers, Robert Lacey reminds us, and in Great Tales from English History, he proves his place among them, illuminating in unforgettable detail the characters and events that shaped a nation. In this volume, Lacey limns the most important period in England's past, highlighting the spread of the English language, the rejection of both a religion and a traditional view of kingly authority, and an unstoppable movement toward intellectual and political freedom from 1387 to 1689. Opening with Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and culminating in William and Mary's "Glorious Revolution," Lacey revisits some of the truly classic stories of English history: the Battle of Agincourt, where Henry V's skilled archers defeated a French army three times as large; the tragic tale of the two young princes locked in the Tower of London (and almost certainly murdered) by their usurping uncle, Richard III; Henry VIII's schismatic divorce, not just from his wife but from the authority of the Catholic Church; "Bloody Mary" and the burning of religious dissidents; Sir Francis Drake's dramatic, if questionable, part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada; and the terrible and transformative Great Fire of London, to name but a few. Here Anglophiles will find their favorite English kings and queens, villains and victims, authors and architects - from Richard II to Anne Boleyn, the Virgin Queen to Oliver Cromwell, Samuel Pepys to Christopher Wren, and many more. Continuing the "eminently readable, highly enjoyable" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) history he began in volume I of Great Tales from English History, Robert Lacey has drawn on the most up-to-date research to present a taut and riveting narrative, breathing life into the most pivotal characters and exciting landmarks in England's history.
 

About Robert Lacey

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Robert Lacey is the author of numerous books, including Majesty, The Year 1000, and the New York Times bestseller The Kingdom. An acclaimed royal expert, Lacey's Golden Jubilee study of Queen Elizabeth, Royal, provided the basis for Peter Morgan's Oscar-winning movie, The Queen. He lives in London.
 
Published November 11, 2009 by Little, Brown and Company. 288 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Great Tales from English History

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The diction here isn’t always fresh (the Catholicism of Mary Queen of Scots was “another black mark against her”), Lacey sometimes prefers the odd moment to the significant one, and he occasionally fails to mention fundamental things (not telling us, for example, that Guy Fawkes took the name “Gu...

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It’s odd that Lacey doesn’t mention the rock group that adopted the farmer’s name, perhaps slightly less so that he neglects to tell us about Belle, or the Ballad of Dr. Crippen, which unsuccessfully attempted to turn an Edwardian murder into a 1960s West End musical.

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More history-as-channel-surfing from Lacey (Great Tales from English History, Volume I, 2004).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Great Tales from English Hist...

Publishers Weekly

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Acclaimed historian Lacey's second volume on English history opens in 1348, the year of the Black Plague, which wiped out half of England's five million people, and proceeds through the ast

Mar 14 2005 | Read Full Review of Great Tales from English Hist...

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Lacey wittily summarizes the careers of various military giants of the British Empire including the duke of Marlborough and the mutiny-prone Captain Bligh, and treats the royal Hanover line with similar irreverence, beginning with the German import George I before describing, with modern medical ...

Oct 16 2006 | Read Full Review of Great Tales from English Hist...

Publishers Weekly

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Acclaimed historian Lacey's second volume on English history opens in 1348, the year of the Black Plague, which wiped out half of England's five million people, and proceeds through the astonishing scientific discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton in 1687.

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Suite 101

A challenging new book aims to change forever the perception of Stone Age Britons from the primitive to the sophisticated.

May 25 2008 | Read Full Review of Great Tales from English Hist...

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