In volume three of Cyril Robinson's famous history of England, we now enter a crucial phase in which political and economic power both change hands. Parliament now dominates the nation's political discourse, and, led by its brilliant Whig leader, Robert Walpole, this party maintains itself in power for a century. It is a stagnant century of corrupt politics and even more corrupt government magistrates and bureaucrats. But it is also the century that will usher in the greatest change humankind has ever seen.
The Industrial Revolution completely alters every aspect of society. And, meanwhile, war is the motive power behind everything, as England pits itself against the mightiest and most feared power in Europe, the France of the Bourbons and, later, Napoleon. In a tumultuous 125-year period, the English fight and win three out of four great wars, losing their American colonies but gaining a worldwide trading empire. Follow along in this exciting third volume of a four-part series as England's greatest heroes confront and bring down the greatest military genius of the era, Napoleon Bonaparte. Often going it alone, Britannia places her fate in the hands of two men...Nelson and Wellington.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
What listeners say about A History of England, Volume 3: William III to Waterloo: 1689-1815
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Colorful, punchy, engaging; a bit jingoistic
This is an author who can move a story along, no doubt, while imparting a good basic sense of the history referred to. This is not modern super-disciplined and balanced academic history. The author will not hesitate to call an individual a "weakling," "idiot," "corrupt," or he like, and sometimes these barbed critiques extend to a whole nationality. So it is stereotype-heavy, in a way that falls strangely on modern ears (civilized ears anyway). I believe it was written in the 1920s or thereabouts, and may well reflect the grandiosity (albeit faded) and nationalistic team spirit of Victorian Britons. There are, however, criticisms at turns of various Britons as well. It stands as a favorite narrative of the times from a British perspective for me, in the sense that it really picks up and moves and conveys a story. I prefer it to Churchill's telling of the same stories. From there, the curious may seek more disciplined recountings of the events from various perspectives. The narrator too is quite punchy and verges on grandiose, but I like his stridency, and it fits this story like a glove. It does not go deep into details of commerce, but has plenty of politics, personalities, and of course, wars.
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- Stafford Lewis
This is a fun read but largely outdated. Several of the authors points have been disproved by more recent scholarship. He is also an apologist for the British in terms of their history in Ireland and India. All that being said it's a good book for beginners who should then read a more up to date work on the same period and look for comparisons.