The epic history of Britain from the landmark book and monumental, 14-part television series airing on the History channel
Simon Schama, one the most celebrated historians of our day, brings the history of Britain to dramatic life in this landmark work. Schama reanimates historical figures and events, and draws them skillfully into a powerful and profound narrative that combines passion and scholarship with a superb sense of storytelling.
At the Edge of the World, the first volume of Schama’s monumental work, moves from the birth of civilization to the Norman Conquest. It spans the religious wars and turbulence of the Middle Ages, the outbreak of the Black Plague, the reign of Edward I, the intrigues of the Tudors, and the clash between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.
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What do you get when you combine the resources and ethos of the BBC with the literary panache of one of the world's best narrative historians? The answer is Simon Schama's A History of Britain, the first volume of which accompanies the BBC-History Channel series of the same name. In a beautifully written and thoughtfully crafted book, studded with striking portraits, pictures, and maps, Schama, the bestselling author of books on European cultural history such as The Embarrassment of Riches and Citizens, as well as 1999's Rembrandt's Eyes, has managed to be both conventional and provocative.
He tells the official version of Britain's island story--from Roman Britain, through the Norman conquest, the struggles of the Henrys and Richards with their barons and clerics, Edward I and the subjugation of Wales, King Death (the plague), and on to the Henrician reformation, before closing with the remarkable reign of the virgin queen, Elizabeth I. But, while sticking to a script familiar to anyone who sat up and listened in history lessons at school, Schama brings it all alive, with memorable prose--Simon de Montfort's rebel parliament is described as inaugurating the "union between patriotism and insubordination"; with Henry VIII, Schama says, "you could practically smell the testosterone." And with fine sensitivity, too, particularly on the symbolism of buildings, memorials, language, and ceremonies, and on the complex relations between England and her Celtic and Catholic neighbors. If history must have gloss, then let it be written and presented like this. --Miles Taylor, Amazon.co.ukAbout the Author:
Simon Schama has taught history at Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard universities. Now professor of art history and history at Columbia University, Schama is also the award-winning author of The Embarrassment of Riches, Rembrandt's Eyes, and A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World. Born in London, he currently lives in upstate New York. Timothy West is a versatile British actor noted for his great command on the classical stage and in several other mediums including radio, film and TV. He has appeared in several Shakespeare productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. On television, he has appeared in Going Postal, Inspector Lewis, Not Going Out, Bleak House, and Agatha Christie: Poirot. Timothy read three volumes of A History of Britain for Macmillan Audio.
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