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The History of England von Thomas Babington…
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The History of England (1848. Auflage)

von Thomas Babington Macaulay (Autor), Hugh Trevor-Roper (Herausgeber)

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One of the greatest figures of his age, Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59) was widely admired throughout his life for his prose, poetry, political acumen and oratorical skills. Among the most successful and enthralling histories ever written, his History of England won instantaneous success following the publication of its first volumes in 1849, and was rapidly translated into most European languages. Beginning with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and concluding at the end of the reign of William III in 1702, it illuminates a time of deep struggle throughout Britain and Ireland in vivid and compelling prose. But while Macaulay offers a gripping narrative, and draws on a wide range of sources including historical accounts and creative literature, his enduring success also owes a great deal to his astonishing ability to grasp, and explain, the political reality that has always underpinned social change.… (mehr)
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Titel:The History of England
Autoren:Thomas Babington Macaulay (Autor)
Weitere Autoren:Hugh Trevor-Roper (Herausgeber)
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Tags:history, britain, literature

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The History of England (abridged) von Thomas Babington Macaulay

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The progress of history is ever moving forward, away from superstition and autocracy towards free-thought and greater liberty, at least that what Lord Macaulay believed. In his The History of England (from the Accession of James the Second), Macaulay brings forth “the Whig interpretation of history” for the first time that changed how history was interpretation for the next century.

This abridgment of Macaulay’s five-volume history of events leading up to the Glorious Revolution during James II reign through the death of William III begins with Macaulay’s purpose for his work. The first half of the abridgment covers how James II began his reign by slowly alienating his traditional supporters in the Anglican Church and Tory county squires by putting Roman Catholics in high positions and supporting the Irish against Anglo-Scot colonists. Even though he survived one rebellion early in his reign, James kept on escalating his efforts until both “Exclusionist” and Tory politicians—including moderate Roman Catholics—joined forces to invite William to take the throne. The second half of the abridgment covers William’s invasion and the Revolution in all three Kingdoms, not just England. While the English portion was political rather than martial, it was not the same in Ireland and Scotland as battles between those supporting James and William took place in bloody fashion though mostly in Ireland. Another bit of history was the religious aspect of the Revolution, while in England there was more toleration in practice which included Roman Catholics it was a different matter entirely in Scotland were Presbyterians retook control after suffering under Restoration policies for over 30 years. Finally, the effects of the Revolution on finance and Parliamentary corruption are examined before Macaulay’s final summing up.

While Hugh Trevor-Roper did an admirable job in selecting portions over five volumes into approximately 550 pages, it is also the main problem with the book. With such a reduction of Macaulay’s prose, the reader gets glimpses of his thoughts and intentions but without consistency the reader doesn’t get the importance of the overall work. As for the work itself, Macaulay’s bias of excusing his hero (William III) and aggressively character assassinating those he dislikes (Marlborough), is one of the biggest flaws.

The History of England is a glimpse into the larger work of Lord Macaulay that really doesn’t give the reader a constancy to see why it was such an important piece of historical literature. If given the choice, I would have chosen five books of the total work over a short abridgment. ( )
  mattries37315 | Aug 5, 2019 |
Really, Restoration History. For decades in my sophomore survey of English Lit classes I aloudread TBM's account of the Monmouth landing in Rye, his attempt to replace his Catholic uncle, James II, who interviewed his condemned nephew before the botched beheading in the Tower by one Ketch--whose name became a byword for Botched jobbers. To begin, I asked if they knew baseball usage, Kill the Ump? The executee Duke of Monmouth gave Ketch six 1685 guineas with the fervent request, "Do not hack me as you did my Lord Russell. I have heard you struck him three or four times." But here's Macaulay: "The first blow inflicted only a slight wound. The Duke struggled, rose from the block, and looked reproachfully at the executioner. The head sank down once more. The stroke was repeated again and again; but still the neck was not severed, and the body continued to move. Yells of rage and horror rose from the crowd. Ketch flung down the axe with a curse, "I cannot do it," he said, "My heart fails me." "Take up the axe, man, " cried the sheriff. "Fling him over the rails," roared the mob….wrought up to such an ecstasy of rage that the executioner was in danger of being torn to pieces, and was conveyed away under strong guard." KILL the UMP indeed.
I am afraid I have softened it for delicate readers. If you read Ch 5 you will find Monmouth flat refusing to admit sin to the bishops on the scaffold, neither in his open revolt, nor in his adulterous relation with Lady Henrietta Wentworth (Penguin 106-112). For additional class delight I continued the ch next class, on the Bloody Assize in Dorset. Four different years I lived in Weymouth or Whitchurch for a month, and would visit Judge Jeffreys' court in Dorchester, not far from Thomas Hardy sites, including the house where his wife died and his lovely birthplace.
My other usual reading in Restoration classes was Clarendon's account of James II's introducing his new wife, Catherine of Braganza (she and her attendants all dressed in black) to his mistress, three days after landing from Portugal. Very amusing, especially to my students in a city 2/3 Portuguese.
No wonder so many of my students continued as history majors. Probably I failed to tell them Clarendon and Macaulay were of course Literature, as is only the best history. Grant's autobiography.
Henry Adams's history, and The Education of; Machiavelli's Discorsi (on Livy); Livy, Caesar…etc. ( )
1 abstimmen AlanWPowers | Mar 5, 2016 |
It was written only history. I was tired of reading it.
But I didn't know the history of England, so I could learn the history. ( )
  nozomih | Jan 18, 2010 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Thomas Babington MacaulayHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Macaulay, Thomas BabingtonHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Trevor-Roper, HughHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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This is an abridged version of Macaulay's (typically) multi-volume "The History of England from the Accession of James II". Please DO NOT combine this abridged edition with any unabridged editions or partial sets of Macaulay's unabridged history.
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One of the greatest figures of his age, Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59) was widely admired throughout his life for his prose, poetry, political acumen and oratorical skills. Among the most successful and enthralling histories ever written, his History of England won instantaneous success following the publication of its first volumes in 1849, and was rapidly translated into most European languages. Beginning with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and concluding at the end of the reign of William III in 1702, it illuminates a time of deep struggle throughout Britain and Ireland in vivid and compelling prose. But while Macaulay offers a gripping narrative, and draws on a wide range of sources including historical accounts and creative literature, his enduring success also owes a great deal to his astonishing ability to grasp, and explain, the political reality that has always underpinned social change.

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