History of Britain and Ireland

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Dorling Kindersley Limited, May 2, 2011 - History - 400 pages
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The definitive visual guide to 5,000 years of British history in eBook format

The History of Britain & Ireland</i> traces the key events that have shaped the British Isles. From the Elizabethan age of Shakespeare to the Iraq and Afghan wars of the 21st century, this beautifully illustrated book offers a definitive visual chronicle of the most colourful and defining episodes in British history.

Packed with visually arresting illustrations and clear, concise text, you can now explore the long and fascinating story of the British Isles. Includes profiles of key people in history such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Alfred the Great, Charles Dickens, Queen Elizabeth I and Winston Churchill.

The History of Britain & Ireland</i> is ideal as a family reference for the home as well as a key history companion for schools.

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I bought this book yesterday. Having explored the Index I have a couple of issues with some of the content.
Overall, the History of Britain and Ireland is an enjoyable read with some interesting
sources and images included with a wide range of content covered. However, from what I have read so far, the narrative is very two-dimensional. Telling the story of a Victorian elite that chose freely to reform themselves solely out of economic interest and Christian values at the expense of acknowledging the effect working class popular pressure borne out of the spirit of the French Revolution and grassroots political campaigns (like Peterloo and Chartism) had on the reform movement is misleading.
Most glaringly, this book effectively ignores the role that non-Christians have played in shaping the history of Britain and Ireland and does a disservice to those using this as a guide/introduction to UK history. The book is written as an encyclopedia and will be taken as such. Whilst historians looking to form an argument are often selective with facts and narratives, an encyclopedia does not have that luxury, as readers look to them for factual accuracy. From what I have read so far The History of Britain and Ireland, whilst being enjoyable and well-presented, serves only to further endorse the white, Christian, male version of British history that is so often perpetuated in the classroom and does little to engage with or tell the story of women and minorities who also deserve their place in history. I did not enjoy the fact that muslims and Islam are only referred to when looking at modern terrorism and the crusades. I do not understand why the history of the Jewish population that stretches back to 1066 has been completely eradicated from these pages.
Whilst pages are understandably limited for publishing/practical reasons, there is no excuse not to give these groups the proportional representation they deserve when telling the story of the History of Britain and Ireland.
 

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