"History Made Interesting"
"A great educational and entertaining program"
"Schama makes the stories come to
life with his wonderful approach, giving details on the everyday people and events and
how they influenced the development of Britain today."
History of Britain: The Complete Series
by Simon Schama
Stretching from the Stone Age to the year 2000, Simon
Schama's Complete History of Britain tells the story in vivid and gripping
narrative terms, free of the fustiness of traditional academe,
personalising key historical events by examining the major characters at
the centre of them. Schama's way of
telling it is highly enthralling.
Schama successfully gives lie to the idea that the history of Britain
has been moderate and temperate, passing down the generations as stately
as a galleon, taking on board sensible ideas but steering clear of
sillier, revolutionary ones. Nonsense. Schama retells British history the
way it was - as bloody, convulsive, precarious, hot-blooded and several
times within an inch of haring off onto an entirely different course.
Schama seems almost to delight in the goriness of history. Themes returned
to repeatedly include the wars between the Scots and the Irish and the
Catholic/Protestant conflicts - only the Irish question remains unresolved
by the new millennium. As Britain becomes a constitutional monarchy,
Schama talks less of Kings and Queens but of poets and idea-makers like
Orwell. Still, with his direct manner and against an evocative
visual and aural backdrop, Schama makes history seem as though it happened
yesterday, the bloodstains not yet dry.
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